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Who owns electric vehicles in the United States?

Posting in Energy

An expensive short-term investment, causer of range anxiety, eco-friendly -- there are a number of labels given to electric vehicles (EVs) -- but who actually buys them?

The EV project, an organization funded by the U.S. Energy Department, has measured and analyzed data from over 8,000 EV drivers since 2009. According to the group's data, there are a number of key differences between fossil-fuel powered drivers and those who prefer electric variations.

One finding is that owners of EVs tend to drive less. This is possibly due to range anxiety -- the fear of running out of juice before making it to a charging station -- or the use of EVs purely for short trips, perhaps to commute or go shopping.

The EV Project's data also suggests that EV drivers tend to be more affluent. This is unsurprising, considering the short-term investment and purchase price of electric vehicles is high -- ranging from a Nissan Leaf for $30,000 to Rimac's Concept One at a hefty $980,000.

Most drivers have an average income of over $200,000, and tend to be between 45 and 54 years of age.

In addition, EV drivers tend to be more concerned with renewable energy, as a high percentage report the installation of solar panels in their homes.

According to trade group the Electric Drive Transportation Association, vehicles that run purely on electricity or combine both fossil fuel and greener types of energy only represent one percent of total car sales in the United States, despite rapid growth over the past three years.

Via: The Wall Street Journal

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Image credit: Nissan

— By on September 22, 2013, 11:46 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure