AAA finds interest in going green remains steady but consumers still slow to adopt

09 May 2019

    AAA: Electric Vehicles
 

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT:

Montrae Waiters, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group,
office (813) 289-5859, cell (813) 244-0815 
MWaiters@AAASouth.com

 

WHY AREN’T AMERICANS PLUGGING IN FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES?

AAA finds interest in going green remains steady but consumers still slow to adopt

 

Broadcast Quality B-roll

 

 

ATLANTA, Ga. (May 9, 2019) — AAA’s latest survey reveals that only 4 in 10 Americans have an interest in electric vehicles, despite the fact that most vehicles will be electric by 2029. Additionally, a separate AAA study conducted earlier this year found that more than half of Americans believe that in this same timeframe, most cars will have the ability to drive themselves – a reality that is much less likely to happen. AAA believes that similar to other emerging technologies, a lack of knowledge and experience may be contributing to the slow adoption of electric vehicles despite Americans’ desire to go green. 

“Electric vehicles have become more affordable, attractive, and equipped with innovative technology.” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “While there are advantages for many drivers, Americans don’t have the full story and that could be causing the gap between interest and action.”

AAA’s annual survey that tracks opinions regarding electric and hybrid vehicles found that while consumer interest remains steady, Americans may not have a solid understanding of electric vehicle performance, which may be giving consumers pause when it comes to considering electric for their next purchase. For instance, electric vehicles, unlike those running on gas, do better in stop and go traffic because the car can recapture energy to charge the battery when decelerating. However, AAA’s survey found that a majority of Americans (59 percent) were unsure of whether electric vehicles have better range when driving at highways speeds or in stop and go traffic. This demonstrates that many consumers are not sure what to expect from an electric vehicle in two of the most common driving scenarios.

“Electric Vehicles are energy efficient, and environmentally friendly,” continued Waiters. “Potential buyers may not be aware that electric vehicles also require less maintenance than internal combustion engines.”

Although most Americans don’t believe electric vehicles will be on the road in masses in the next 10 years, AAA did find that 40 million Americans say they would be likely to consider an electric vehicle for their next car purchase, with Millennials leading the pack. Concern for the environment and lower long-term costs remain the leading reasons to go green (74 percent and 56 percent respectively). Previous objections to buying electric with regards to price and range anxiety continue to ease and have trended downward significantly:

  • Concern that there are not enough places to charge – down 11 percent from 2017

  • Concern about running out of charge when driving – down 11 percent from 2017

  • Higher cost of battery repair or replacement – down 8 percent from 2017

  • Higher purchase price – down 6 percent from 2017

With a focus on the future, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center rates and ranks electric vehicles, hybrids, compressed natural gas-powered (CNG), diesels and high fuel economy gasoline-powered vehicles for the annual AAA Green Car Guide.  Vehicles are rated on the criteria that matter most to car buyers, including ride quality, safety and performance.

In 2019, the following vehicles earned AAA’s Top Green Vehicle award:

Category

Winner

Overall

2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE

Subcompact Car

2019 Chevy Bolt Premier

Compact Car

2018 Nissan Leaf SL

Midsize Car

2018 Tesla Model 3 RWD

Large Car

2018 Tesla Model S P100D

Pickup

2018 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercrew

SUV/Minivan

2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE

Best Under $30K

2019 Toyota Camry SE

Best $30K -$50K

2018 Nissan Leaf SL

Best Over $50K

2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE

Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews and an in-depth analysis of the green vehicle industry can be found at AAA.com/greencar .

Key Findings

Consumer interest in fully electric vehicles is unchanged from 2018.

  • Sixteen percent of Americans say they ae likely to buy an electric vehicle the next time they are in the market for a new or used vehicle.

  • Millennials and Generation X are more likely to consider buying an electric vehicle than Baby Boomers (23% and 17% vs. 8%).

Concern for the environment and lower long-term costs continue to be the key drivers of interest in electric vehicles and remain unchanged from 2018.

  • Americans who are likely to buy an electric vehicle would do so out of concern for the environment (74%), lower long-term costs (56%), cutting edge technology (45%) and access to the car pool lane (21%).

The majority of Americans who are likely to buy an electric vehicle are willing to pay more than they would pay for a gas-powered vehicle.

  • Two-thirds (67%) of Americans likely to buy an electric vehicle would be willing to pay more for it than for a gas-powered vehicle.

  • Four in ten (44%) would be willing to pay up to $4,000 more.

  • One-fourth (23%) would be willing to pay more than $4,000.

Safe Driving Tips for Electric Vehicle Drivers

  • Motorists should keep electric vehicle parked in cool place. Electric vehicle drivers should keep their vehicle in the garage or the shade to reduce the internal temperature, and cool the interior while the vehicle is plugged in to reduce the drain on the battery.

  • Ensure your EV battery is properly charged. This ensures your car is ready to drive whenever you need it.

  • Map out trip. Motorist should make sure there are electric vehicles charging stations on their routes. Mapping tools such as the AAA TripTik® Travel Planner pinpoint charging stations to keep motorists on the go. 

  • Tire pressure. Proper tire pressure on electric vehicles is a benefit just as it is for gas vehicles. Fuel economy is reduced as rolling resistance increases — soft tires make your vehicle work harder.

Methodology

A telephone omnibus survey was conducted April 4-7, 2019. A total of 1,000 interviews were completed among adults, 18 years of age or older.

A dual-frame approach was used that combined land-line and cell phone interviews to ensure that adults who only or primarily communicate via cell phones are included and properly represented. Survey responses are weighted by six variables (age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, education, and landline vs. cell phone only) to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total continental US population, 18 years of age and older.

The margin of error for the study is 3.8% at the 95% confidence level. Smaller subgroups will have larger error margins.

About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.