With only 200,000 all-electric vehicles on the road across the country today, AAA believes the public's lack of knowledge and experience with electric vehicles may be contributing to the nation's slow adoption of the technology — despite an growing appetite for green mobility.
“AAA conducted this survey about interest in electric vehicles to understand the disconnect that exists between consumer intent and action,” said Michael Blasky, spokesperson for AAA Northern California. “Like other new vehicle technologies, Americans might not have the full story and that could be causing the gap.”
Although Americans remain slow to purchase an electric vehicle, interest in the technology has grown, the survey found. Earlier this month, AAA Northern California launched the nation's largest all-electric car share fleet, bringing 260 cars into Sacramento to operate the motor club's one-way car share service, GIG Car Share. More than 20,000 Sacramento residents have downloaded the app since Gig's first week of operation.
"As more Americans experience this technology, they'll be more confident about the benefits of electric vehicles as a reliable, affordable and eco-friendly consumer option," Blasky said. "Our fleet of electric Gigs in Sacramento are all 2019 Chevrolet Bolts, which was AAA's Green Car Guide winner for the subcompact category this year. These cars have 200 miles of range and have a lot of power — not exactly the electric cars Americans remember from a decade ago."
AAA’s annual Electric Vehicle Consumer survey found interest in electric vehicles remains steady, with 16% of Americans reporting they’re likely to buy electric the next time they’re in the market for a new or used vehicle.
There are two main reasons Americans would prefer an electric vehicle. The bulk of those surveyed (74%) are concerned for the environment while 56% said they’re looking to go electric because of the lower long-term cost.
The slow adoption of electric vehicles might stem from Americans still learning about the performance of electric vehicles compared to gas powered engines. According to this latest survey, 59% of Americans were not aware electric vehicles are more efficient in stop-and-go traffic compared to gas-powered cars.
Those Americans who are still unlikely or unsure about buying an electric vehicle site some specific reasons:
· 58% are concerned there are not enough places to charge.
· 57% are concerned they’ll run out of charge while driving.
· 57% are concerned range is not suitable for long-distance road trips.
Although Americans worry about the factors stated above, overall sentiment for each one has improved compared to 2017.
To help consumers understand their options, each year AAA produces its Green Car Guide, which rates electric vehicles as well as hybrids and highly fuel efficient cars based on criteria such as ride quality, safety and performance.
This comprehensive guide can serve as a resource to consumers since it not only provides detailed reviews of each car tested, but also offers robust information on green vehicles. Consumers who are on the fence will find that this guide can be a valuable resource for learning more about electric and other environmentally friendly vehicles.
In 2019, the following vehicles earned AAA’s Top Green Car award:
Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews and an in-depth analysis of the green vehicle industry can be found at AAA.com/greencar.
AAA Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey 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 AAA Northern California
AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to createMembers for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 4,000 employees representing nearly 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto and life insurance, and extraordinary travel services. According to Via Magazine's Smart Guide, being a AAA Member can save you more than $1,200 a year. Learn more at AAA.com.