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Study Captures Consumers’ Pulse on Plug-In Electric Vehicle Preferences

Dec. 4, 2017

A photo of a PEV charging.

How far must a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) travel on a single charge for someone to consider purchasing one? Does a person’s age or geographic region affect the likelihood that they would buy a PEV? What percentage of consumers are aware of electric vehicle charging station locations near their home or work?

A new report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, The Barriers to Acceptance of Plug-in Electric Vehicles: 2017 Update, aims to provide current insights on these questions and more. The report details the findings of a study into the American public's sentiments on plug-in electric vehicles. The study, conducted in February 2017, covered a 1,017-household sample designed to be representative of the U.S. population. This is the third in a series of annual studies tracking consumer attitudes toward plug-in electric vehicles.

Consumer Views Quick Facts

  • 58% of respondent households owned two or more vehicles.
  • 42% of respondents stated their next vehicle purchases would likely be sedans.
  • 46% of respondents were able to name a specific PEV make and model.
  • 24% of respondents stated they would consider or expect to purchase plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for their next vehicle purchase or lease.
  • 47% of respondents would consider purchasing an all-electric vehicle, if the vehicle was able to travel 300 miles on a single charge.
  • 54% of respondents could consistently park their vehicles near electrical outlets at home.

The study revealed that respondents who were aware of plug-in electric vehicle charging stations were more likely than respondents overall to view PEVs positively and be willing to consider purchasing them. In addition, respondents in the West and Northeast census regions were more likely to consider purchasing a PEV. For more insights, read the full NREL report funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office.

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