Cars.com: Consumers Still Have Concerns with Electric, Clean-Diesel Vehicles
CHICAGO — The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf will soon arrive at dealerships as alternative-fuel options that dealers can offer consumers, but many shoppers are still wary about buying electric vehicles, according to a Cars.com survey.
In fact, two-fifths of shoppers claimed they don't have a significant grasp on the technology involved with electric vehicles, so they won't put the segment on their consideration list.
More than a third (36 percent) said they would be willing to think about buying an electric vehicle when they go shopping for their next ride. Almost a quarter (24 percent) said the opposite.
It appears that many shoppers who aren't willing to consider electric vehicles are largely concerned with range issues, among other worries, according to Cars.com
"Electric cars still face many hurdles in the minds of consumers who have range anxiety," explained Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief of Cars.com
"When asked for reasons they would not purchase an electric car, 54 percent said they feared they would run out of electricity while out on the road, while 43 percent said they drive distances greater than electric technology will currently allow," he added.
Consumers have also expressed issues with charging the vehicles, citing concerns with the costs, infrastructure and time it takes to do so.
More than a third (36 percent) either don't have an electric outlet in their garage to charge the vehicle or they don't want to pay for one.
Shoppers also have strong demands when it comes to how long is "acceptable" for a vehicle to charge. Cars.com indicated that 41 percent feel less than two hours is acceptable.
Consumers varied greatly as to acceptable miles-per-charge, but about a quarter hope to go more than 400 miles between each charge.
That said, some demographics were more likely than others to show favor toward electric cars. For instance, the proportion of men who said they are willing to consider an electric vehicle was two times higher as the percentage of women who said the same.
Meanwhile, shoppers ages 18 to 24 were more willing (60 percent) to consider electric vehicles than shoppers ages 45 to 54 (25 percent).
Moving on, the survey also asked consumers about clean diesel technology, and found that over half (54 percent) feel they aren't educated enough about it to contemplate buying a clean-diesel ride the next time they're in the purchasing process.
It appears cost was the main reason why most steer clear from diesel. In fact, 59 percent attribution their aversion to clean diesel to fuel costs.
"It's interesting to note that more consumers say they have heard of electric cars than have heard of clean diesel cars, which have been around much longer," Olsen stated.
"Despite a growing number of eco-conscious consumers and interest in saving money at the pump, both of these alternatives have a ways to go to gain mass consumer awareness, appeal and acceptance. That said, we are thrilled to see more options being developed," he concluded.