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Consumers are less interested in electric vehicles

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Since 2010, when plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) first launched commercially, consumer interest in the electric car has been on the decline.

A new survey from Pike Research shows that only 35 percent of respondents are "extremely" or "very interested" in purchasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or battery electric vehicle. That's down from the same surveys in 2011 and 2010 in which 40 percent and 44 percent (respectively) of consumers said that they were extremely or very interested in purchasing an electric vehicle.

“Interest in PEVs remains moderate, and has fallen over the last year,” says Dave Hurst, a Pike senior research analyst, in a statement. “While this decrease is not staggering, it indicates that auto manufacturers need to address misconceptions among consumers and to [sic] must do a better job of educating consumers about the benefits of PEVs in order to attract buyers in larger numbers.”

Those misconceptions include, from the survey:

  • 37 percent of respondents who disagreed that electric cars are cheaper to own in the long run;
  • 37 percent who believe that PEV batteries are dangerous; and
  • One-third who believe that current PEV owners are often stranded because their cars run out of power.

Still, Pike Research foresees a growing market for plug-in vehicles in the United States. It forecasts growth from 48,000 electric vehicles sold this year to more than 400,000 in 2020. And who knows, maybe some of these misconceptions will diminish now that an electric car was named the car of the year.

Consumer Interest in Electric Vehicles has Declined Since 2010 [Pike Research]

Photo: Flickr/cliff1066

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— By on November 13, 2012, 6:14 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure