aaa electric vehicleAAA Mid-Atlantic: It’s Electric! Consumer Appetite for Electric Vehicles Rivals That of Pickup Trucks

HAMILTON, NJ – A new AAA study reveals that consumer interest in electric vehicles remains high, with more than 30 million Americans likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next car. Millennials are even more accepting of electric vehicles, with nearly one-in-five interested in going electric for their next car.

 

“With their lower ownership costs and compatibility with emerging autonomous technologies, electric vehicles are poised to be a key vehicle of the future,” said Tracy Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Despite the fact that gas prices are about 40 percent lower than five years ago, AAA found that consumer interest in electric vehicles and hybrids has not waned. In fact, the number of Americans interested in an electric vehicle approaches the number planning to purchase a pickup truck, with the survey showing 15 percent are likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next car.

While electric vehicles are an attractive option for car shoppers, AAA found that more than half of Americans are hesitant to make the switch due to “range anxiety” – the concern over running out of charge or having too few locations to charge a vehicle. This fear persists despite the fact that U.S. drivers report an average round-trip commute length (31 miles) and time (46 minutes) well within the range of the more than 100 miles of range that most electric vehicles offer.

“Range anxiety stems from seeing gas stations, not charging stations, on every corner,” continued Noble. “While electric vehicles may not yet fit every lifestyle, the number of charging stations has quadrupled over the last five years and battery ranges support average commutes.”

Getting Charged in New Jersey

New Jersey  is in the top 25  when it comes to states with the most charging stations. The state currently has 201 total charging stations, and there plenty of additional stations in neighboring states Pennsylvania (293), New York (725), Connecticut (294) and Delaware (24). 

Concern for the environment remains the primary motivating factor for electric vehicle shoppers, but AAA also found that lower long-term costs, desire for the latest technology and access to car pool lanes are all influential. With their extended range and flexibility, hybrid vehicles are also desirable to Americans, with nearly one third (32 percent) likely to buy the gasoline- and battery-powered alternative.

Beyond electric and hybrid vehicles, AAA’s survey found that fuel economy remains a major purchase consideration for all U.S. drivers, with 70 percent rating it as an important factor in selecting any vehicle – equal to the importance of the cost, crash rating and performance – ahead of safety technology (50%), brand (48%), style, color and design (46%) and smartphone connectivity (34%). 

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.

“While desire for green vehicles is strong, making the leap to an electric, hybrid or other fuel efficient vehicles can be daunting to car shoppers,” said Megan McKernan, manager of  Automotive Research Center. “AAA’s rigorous evaluations help take the guesswork out by providing an unbiased evaluation of these vehicles based on more than a dozen individual criteria.”  

In 2017, the following vehicles earned AAA’s Top Green Vehicle award:

CategoryWinner
Overall Tesla Model X 75D
Subcompact Car Chevy Bolt EV Premier
Compact Car Volkswagen e-Golf SE
Midsize Car Lexus GS 450h F Sport
Large Car Tesla Model S 60
Pickup Ford F150 XLT Super Crew
SUV Tesla Model X 75D

 

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

To assist with range anxiety, drivers of electric vehicles can find the closest charging station via the AAA Mobile app or AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner. In 2017, charging station availability has grown to more than 15,000 locations across the United States. Additional survey data, study methodology, infographics, photos and video can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.