By on May 9, 2018

2018 Chevrolet Bolt - Image: Chevrolet

If we’re placing bets, this author’s money lands firmly on “no.” And I do it with the same level of conviction as betting on Boston when the Bruins play either Toronto or Ottawa. Choke artists, those guys.

So, where does this 20 percent figure come from, you ask? From adult Americans — 1,003 of them — who responded to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association. AAA published a study Tuesday showing two in ten Americans are “likely” to buy an electric car as their next vehicle.

Does that sound right to you?

It certainly doesn’t to me. And yet, there it is.

“A new AAA survey shows that 20 percent or 50 million Americans will likely go electric for their next vehicle purchase, up from 15 percent in 2017,” the association wrote.

The survey questioned Americans aged 18 and over in early March via landline and cell phone, with responses weighted by six variables: age, race, gender, geographic region, education, and landline vs. cell phone-only households. We’re not calling into question AAA’s methodology. Rather, it’s the truthfulness of the responses that seem suspect.

Over the first four months of 2018, the market penetration of battery electric vehicles in the U.S. was 0.72 percent, according to HybridCars.com. That’s up from 0.5 percent in 2017, but it’s still less than 1 percent. When combined with sales of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the market share of “electrified” vehicles in the U.S. rises to 3.21 percent on a year-to-date basis.

That’s still pretty small potatoes. And yet one-fifth of Americans plan to go electric the next time around? Seems mighty suspicious. Digging past the press release shows that respondents were allowed to include used vehicles on their wish list, which makes the 20 percent stat seem at least possible from a financial perspective. J.D. Power claims the average new-vehicle retail transaction price hit $32,544 in April — a figure that counts as “cheap” in the EV market.

Speaking to TTAC, Ellen Edmunds, public relations manager for AAA, mentioned something many of us know quite well — that electric vehicles often depreciate like it’s going out of style, thus presenting “a really good value” for the used vehicle shopper. Old Leafs can be had for a song, but don’t expect much driving range.

Taking into account the $7,500 federal tax credit, an EV would have to retail for about $40k to match the country-wide transaction average. To the industry’s credit, more EVs are appearing in this price range. Chevrolet’s Bolt undercuts it, as does the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq, though Tesla’s long-awaited base model Model 3 ($35k) hasn’t yet reached production, and there’s a long line of reservation holders waiting to snap it up once it does.

2018 Nissan Leaf

A problem arises, however. The more electric and plug-in electrics an automaker sells, the closer it gets to exhausting its limited supply of tax credits. Once an automaker hits 200,000 eligible vehicles produced, the credit is cut in half, then halved again. The incentive quickly disappears, and cost is often king in this market. Other jurisdictions have seen EV sales dry up after government incentives bit the dust.

Tesla and General Motors stand to lose the full credit sometime this year, with Nissan getting the chop in 2019. Still, this implies all respondents to the AAA survey have done at least some of their homework, familiarizing themselves with what’s available on the market — as well as the models’ cost and limitations.

In many cases, it’s likely these are wishes, wants, and nothing else. Edmunds said the survey did not target vehicle owners, just those in the right age (etc.) categories, meaning some respondents are not currently vehicle owners, and might not be for years. One envisions the Millennial who dreams of landing that plum job, after which there’ll be an EV parked beneath his or her hip, downtown condo. That could indeed happen at some point, but reality has a way of intervening. Four years from now, owning a Dodge Journey in the suburbs might make more sense. Maybe EV range in their price category isn’t up to snuff once they do land that job, or the necessary recharging infrastructure isn’t in place where they live.

It’s likely more than a few respondents are banking on the availability of multiple charging points at their place of residence and work, not to mention along the highway. These would be fast charges, too. 68 percent of surveyed Americans felt a charging time of no more than 30 minutes is acceptable, with women (44 percent) outranking men among those who claim 15 minutes max is the longest they’d wait for a charge. Not even Tesla’s Supercharger allows these kind of recharging times.

Technology needs to keep up to keep some of these EV ownership dreams alive.

As these are just malleable intentions spread out over a broad time frame, maybe it’s just the fact that Tesla tweeted out the survey that has me annoyed. For what it’s worth, some 31 percent of respondents said they’re likely to buy a hybrid as their next vehicle. Just remember those earlier sales stats.

The survey also found that 80 percent of those who claim to be interested in an EV would buy one out of concern for the environment, whereas 67 percent said lower long-term costs was the main motivator. Some 35 percent said a faster commute was top of mind, with the EV allowing access to HOV lanes. Interestingly, of the tree-hugger group, 90 percent were women and 68 percent were men.

One finding that should bring encouragement to automakers is that fewer respondents seem terrified of range anxiety. Of the surveyed residents who said they were unlikely to purchase an EV, 58 percent said their biggest concern was running out of charge while driving. That’s down 10 percent from last year. The number of people listing “not enough places to charge” as their main gripe sank 6 percent from last year.

[Images: General Motors, Nissan]

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83 Comments on “Are 20 Percent of Americans Really Planning on Buying an Electric Car?...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    At first it didn’t sound right to me but then I considered sample size, who responded to the survey, and the political nature of the AAA.

    So now, I’m thinking, yes, it is accurate for a survey conducted by AAA.

    But if the Census asked the question, I doubt it would be.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Dude, you think too much about “political nature.”

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        You can’t get away from it. It slaps you in the face everywhere you go.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Choose to “resist” that impulse. It makes your life a lot happier, and less stressful.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            America is sooooo divided at this time in history that it is actually injuring itself into a downward spiral of self-destruction.

            For political Independents like myself who have equal disdain for both political parties it is a difficult time because all we’re interested in is actual news, the good things that are happening to America, not some fake news spin that has no bearing on our lives.

            EVs are just that. A crap spin. Their sales amount to nothing! Nothing. Not even a blip on the SAAR. Not even an anomaly.

            If people want them, that’s cool. I say buy them. Few do.

            But EVs are not newsworthy. Nor survey worthy.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “America is sooooo divided at this time in history that it is actually injuring itself into a downward spiral of self-destruction.”

            I’m afraid you may be right, but I’d say that a big part of this is that we no longer look at each other and see an individual – we see a member of a group. Too many liberals look at a conservative and think “hater.” Too many conservatives look at liberals and think “snowflake.” We now hate each other based on simple differences of opinion.

            It’s ridiculous. Is it any wonder we’re in the state we’re in?

            I’m guilty as charged. You are too. Example: I’m pretty sure there’s no shortage of politically conservative folks with a AAA membership.

            We’re ALL guilty. And it benefits no one but the people who don’t want to see anything change…after all, how better to maintain the status quo than to set us all at each other’s throats? Divide and conquer, bro. They aren’t stupid.

            But like the guy in “Pulp Fiction” said…I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd. And I’m happier for it. Maybe if we all did the same thing, we’d be better off. Just sayin’.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Money/Absolute wealth is the new God/Religion.

            The business of America has always been business, but we’re at an extreme level of self-destructive worship of accumulation of wealth and inequality now that we now literally face a an existential threat to our political, corporate, civic and institutional norms, and thus, American Society itself.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The greenies left the AAA when they refused to recognize climate change as a problem. They started the Better World Club as an alternative.

      The AAA *is* the conservative car club.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I did not know that.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          See, there you go, HDC…join up!

          (LOL)

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            We go there to get our International Driving Permit each time before we leave the US.

            We also go there whenever we need passports renewed.

            But what I see when I go there is posters on the wall with a push for economical cars.

            Visit their website for your state and see what it is like.

            Looks pretty green to me.

            But I could be wrong because it is not something I dwell on.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      AAA has good maps and occasionally useful tour guides. Going by nominal price of these, I can justify my annual dues from just a couple long road trips a year (and the occasional tow).

    • 0 avatar
      vehic1

      The AAA is so “political”? I’ve been a member for years; can’t say I’ve noticed much beyond local travel/tourist articles in its publications. To the hardcore conspiracy-theory crowd, though, I suppose almost everything is dastardly/liberal.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I’d absolutely buy one.

    If gas were $5/gal
    And if it had a 300 mile range
    And if it could be charged in 15 minutes
    And if it didn’t cost more than $30,000 without usurping my fellow taxpayers
    And if it had a 2JZ and a MKIV Supra body

    Ok actually I’d buy a MKIV Supra.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I’ll save Asdf the trouble:

    EVs ARE DEFECTIVE! DEFECTIVE I TELL YOU. THEY TAKE TOO LONG TO RECHARGE! THEY WILL NEVER, EVER CATCH ON. ELON MUSK SHOULD BE SUED FOR MAKING DEFECTIVE CARS!

    DID I SAY EVS ARE DEFECTIVE?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    These surveys aren’t worth the electrons they’re written with.

    Even *I’m* not sure I’d actually buy an EV next time. For me, the only real issue is depreciation (which is coupled directly to battery degradation). A automotive market segment built on leases (Tesla excepted) isn’t a strong one.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      There’s a very good book, Everybody Lies, that covers why surveys are pretty much useless. People will lie on surveys, even anonymous surveys, because they want to feel good about their answers. The author demonstrates that the only way to get to the truth is to look at internet search stats, where not only is there no incentive to lie, there’s a disincentive. True interests are required to get meaningful results from a search. If the AAA wants real answers they should tap into Google’s search data.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        On that note, there are few things more satisfyingly entertaining than when TTAC rounds up their most ridiculous search queries and publishes them with witty replies!

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Ah, the Bradley Effect! The first time Tom Bradley ran for L.A. mayor, he was expected to win by a landslide based on the polls, and he lost by a landslide instead. Turns out loads of people said they’d vote for him to seem modern and forward-looking, but in the privacy of the voting booth their real feelings came out: there was no way in hell they were gonna vote for the black guy.

        P.S. If we looked at internet search stats to determine things, the answer to all questions would be “porn.”

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    For me, it’s pretty simple.

    If the lease payment approaches my existing Mazda 6 lease payment, I’m good. If I basically leave the house with a full tank of gas each day, I’ll need to “refill” for a few long trips a year. Even the trips to my parents (about 1.5-hour drives) shouldn’t require a stop, so basically I don’t think about “fuel” 360 days of the year.

    YMMV, of course, depending on how you drive. This is also true of every buying decision surrounding vehicles.

    I’m still waiting for my model 3 reservation to come up here in the Great White North, but when it does, that will essentially be the deciding factor for me: Will I pay more than I do now? Currently, the answer seems to be “nope”, with the added bonus that my fuel prices drop to 0.

    • 0 avatar
      martinwinlow

      It’s always going to be about the cost. If it becomes significantly cheaper for drivers to own an EV, then they’ll buy one. It’s as simple as that (for most)… unless you live in one of Europes cities or China/lots of the rest of Asia where the issue of air quality is going to make it very difficult to own anything *but* an EV before long.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      I’m pretty surprised that more people aren’t going with the Chevy Volt option…100% electric in daily routine use, unlimited range using gas on road trips, sporty enough to amuse, leases pretty affordably. I suppose the low rear roofline and poor driver visibility don’t help: the packaging is too sporty for the practical folks, but the performance isn’t quite sporty enough for the sporty folks. (It’s a beast from 0-30 though: wheelspin city.)

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    The same respondents would likely say they would likely consider a brown diesel manual hatchback.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’d *consider* buying one…
    1) If the price was right
    2) If the range was right
    3) If a) my complex would let me run a cord from my third floor balcony down to the car, and b) said cord wouldn’t get ripped off.

    Seriously, I do think these are the wave of the future, and regardless of the current “drill baby drill” frenzy, as alternative sources of energy become more the norm (don’t fool yourselves, folks…it’s gonna happen), the wave will just get bigger.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Brace yourself for an increase in price of gasoline, diesel and kerosene (JP8) because Iran’s output has been taken off the market effective TODAY.

      It is anticipated that the US will increase production as more old wells will come back online again, but that is going to take at least 4-5 months to offset the loss of Iran’s oil, according to Bloomberg.

      Oil is having a field day on the futures market today.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You’re probably right, and that’s yet another good reason to embrace alternative energy.

        When someone invents a workable fusion reactor – and that’s getting closer – it’s going to be Game Over for fossil fuels. I bet you Iran knows that.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Did you read where CA is mandating solar panels for all new homes? Hell of a deal for the builders, but not so much for the buyers. Adds an easy $40K to the price of the house.

          Of course CA is backing solar and wind because they are perpetually short statewide of electricity with a long history of brownouts and blackouts.

          And some people will not be willing to pay that premium so they will have to move out of CA.

          Some even to where I live. There goes the neighborhood!

          We just sold a house to a retired couple who moved to my area from SoCal. The bottom line, all in, was $192+K and he turned to my wife and asked her, “Will you take a personal check?”

          To which my wife replied, “Of course. But we’ll hold off signing the paperwork until the money transfers.”

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Who buys a house with a personal check? Sheesh…

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Mandating solar is the wrong move. But it makes all kinds of sense to incentivize it, particularly in a state with the kind of pollution problems California’s had.

            (And good move on validating funds.)

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Bunkie:

            Lots of folks use borrowed funds from things like HELOCS or lines of credit against investment funds to write checks to buy houses with.

            Yours truly,
            FreedMike, mortgage underwriter extraordinaire

          • 0 avatar
            Kendahl

            When you just sold your run down shack in a bad neighborhood for $500k, it’s easy.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’m with you Bunkie, when I’ve payed cash for houses I used a Cahsier’s check way back when or more recently wired the funds.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          “When someone invents a workable fusion reactor – and that’s getting closer ”

          10 years ago my college friends in material science department who were EV nuts claimed “we are close to a new battery chemistry that will make nickel and lithium obsolete, and it will be here in 3 years or so, 5 tops.”

          LOL.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Keep laughing. Look at the money behind this:

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2018/02/12/nuclear-fusion-could-be-a-silver-bullet-and-just-around-the-corner/#192949573747

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          A working fusion reactor is just 10 years away…and always will be. :-)

          But even with today’s technology, the French and Swedes build small, efficient, affordable, standardized reactors with a very good safety record. Whereas in North America and Japan we literally reinvent the wheel every time we build a nuke plant–with disastrous results for safety and cost alike.

      • 0 avatar
        martinwinlow

        So *that’s* what he’s up to. ‘Making America great’ again. Figures.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        My wife chose the wrong month to trade her EV for the gas-drunk Volvo SUV she always wanted, that’s for sure. (But Helga is niiiiiiice.)

    • 0 avatar
      sutherland555

      EVs aren’t for me as we’re a one car household BUT would definitely be a very strong candidate if we needed a 2nd car just to run around town. IMHO, EVs are perfect as a 2nd vehicle or 3rd vehicle.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    Already ordered (T-M-3), awaiting delivery next spring. Payback is expected in around 5 years relative to keeping my 10-year-old G35.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    BS. Talk is cheap; watch what people do, not what they say.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      same people who will swear up and down they want to be a part of the solution for the homeless problem, right up to the point they have to pay for a half way house or shelter in their neighborhood.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    20 percent is a HUGE increase from current sales penetration.
    I wonder what features/pricing/etc buyers anticipate that will change this?

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Perhaps it’s another oil shock? The difference between the near future and 2008 is that there are a number of viable electric vehicle options now.

      But, perhaps, it’s promising new technologies such as Lockheed’s work on a new type of fusion reactor.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    The usually unmentioned factor in these discussions is e-vehicle resale.
    That’s a big part of “total cost of ownership”.
    I’d think over the next couple of years we’ll get a much better handle on it.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      We already know – it’s terrible (if your EV isn’t made by Tesla).

      Two reasons: Car depreciation = battery degradation, and brand. Tesla has the double benefit of the lowest battery degradation and best brand equity; Nissan has the worst battery degradation and modest brand equity at best.

      The true unknown is the Chevy Bolt and other upcoming non-Tesla long-range cars. If their batteries fare well, then their resale may be reasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      emg77

      That’s why so many are leased instead of bought. The depreciation is somewhat deceiving because they depreciate by the tax rebate amount as soon as they drive off the lot. It’s bad, but not as bad as it appears. But the key with quick depreciating vehicles is to buy them used when they come off lease and drive it for 5-7 years. And that’s even better with an electric one, because the previous owner didn’t have any maintenance to skip, so there’s very little they can do to hurt the car. I bought a used 2014 Volt last year and it’s been flawless and I love it. For the feature set and not having to buy gas very often, it’s a bargain for a used car. I actually like the styling of the Gen 1 Volt better than the Gen 2.

  • avatar
    Dawnrazor

    I can believe that number.

    EVs have rapidly progressed, and despite Tesla’s issues it is now fairly evident to even casual observers that the technology has staying-power and is not a mere fad.

    The drivability and ownership benefits vs. ICE are not difficult for even a casual observer to comprehend, and the range issues have significantly improved over the past couple of years.

    (Admittedly projecting here.) All that is needed for many of us is for there to be some real competition for Tesla’s models. If we could just have the powertrain and range of a Tesla S or X combined with the build quality, interior design, ergonomics, and overall feel of a comparably priced Audi, MB, or Lexus we would be all set!

  • avatar
    George B

    I’m not planning to buy an electric car, but I’ll probably install 240V wiring for one when I remodel my garage. I’m replacing an electric water heater with a natural gas water heater so a 240V circuit breaker position and breaker panel capacity is being freed up. The circuit breaker panel is on the left wall near the front of the garage so it won’t require long lengths of expensive wire.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    Paraprhased conversation between me and my wife just last weekend:

    Me: I think it would be cool to get a Tesla

    Her: I don’t like the idea of not being able to fill up anywhere I want

    Me: Well you fill up every night then have a few hundred miles the next day

    Her: But what if I need to drive to my parents house (which is 300 miles away)

    Me: There are charging stations along the way

    Her: Yeah but what if I don’t know where they are?

    And on it went like this. This is the reason I seriously doubt that 20% will happen any time soon. The idea of having a gas station on every corner is hard to replace with a charging station every 100 miles. Even if you logically know you don’t need a charging station on every corner and 100 miles is good enough, that’s mental block that will take a long time to remove from the average driver.

    And before anyone says, yeah well your wife is just old and not hip like us millenials…..she’s in her early 30s.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      “And before anyone says, yeah well your wife is just old and not hip like us millenials…..she’s in her early 30s.”

      Actually virtually EVERY hybrid/electric car I see has someone old (65+) behind the wheel. It makes sense. Theyre pricy as hell for what you get (young people cant afford that) and while EVs/hybrids are great for the elderly grannie who goes to church and the grocery store, they offer nothing for those of us who are active, have real hobbies or are just gearheads in general. Lets face it…when youre single and either young or relatively young a major factor in choosing your ride is how opposite sex will respond. For the few hardcore tofu/granola/greenpeace types who take that sort of thing seriously, a prius might work for you. For the ladies I like (rocker and pinup babes) a prius is as good as a chastity belt.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    I had Solar City install panels at my Southern California high desert home last year. My average net electrical bill is $-21.02 and my “Edison” usage is down 188% from last May.
    No charge for installation and $58.00 per month. My electric bill was averaging $97 per month.
    I would indeed buy or lease an electric vehicle but ONLY if it is a Buick, even a rebadged one, which I will then change to “WILDCAT”!
    Solar City offers a free Power Wall after a few referrals!
    I have not seen a new Oldsmobile since April, 2004.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    It’s important to remember when comparing the 20% to the 1% 2017 that this wasn’t a survey of people buying a car this year. “Next time you buy a car” can be a pretty distant event.

  • avatar
    HahnZahn

    For my household, the answer is yes – when the range and charging infrastructure improves a bit more. I don’t see any great advantages to ICE-powered cars for 99% of how I use my cars. I don’t care about power or enjoyment in driving. I live in a big city, and driving here sucks most days. But big cities are where jobs that match my education are, so here I am. We’ll have the infrastructure sooner in SoCal than, say, Kansas, and I’ll be on board.

    Anyway, I think the answer to the poll can be interpreted as this: 20% of people know they’ll eventually have no choice but to buy electric cars, and 80% are still delusional. It won’t be 10 years or probably even 20, but I fully expect my kids will tell their own astounded kids, “Yeah, believe it or not, we used fossil fuels in cars way back when.”

  • avatar
    S197GT

    the electric vehicle i WOULD buy?

    motorcycle.

    actually bought a couple of razor electric motorbikes for my son and i to fool around on and they are cheap and FUN!

    very interested in a decent, inexpensive, electric street bike.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      I have a Razor kart. It’s the second rung on my ladder of grandkids fun. First rung is the Barbie Jeep.
      But they all aspire to the next step which is karts powered by 6.5 hp gas engines.

  • avatar
    amca

    They didn’t ask if anyone wanted an electric because of it’s zoomy performance?

    That’s why I want one.

  • avatar
    emg77

    I went halfway last year and bought a used 2014 Volt. Honestly, I love the thing and I’m convinced I’ll continue to drive electric. But I don’t see 20% likely to buy one anytime soon. People don’t change that fast.

    I didn’t buy the car to save the environment, I bought it because its a great value in the used car market, and I’m an electrical engineer, so I love the technology.

    The car is really fun to drive. Not sportscar fun, but for a commuter car in city driving, it’s fun. The torque is instant and it doesn’t have to shift. It’s really fast to 30 mph. It’s reasonably fast to 60, but it’s that 0-30 speed that makes it a blast to drive around town. It’s almost dead silent. It’s comfortable and it’s pretty loaded with tech for it’s age. The only things I’d really like it to have is Android Auto and blind spot monitoring, but I can deal without it.

    Some of the best things to not have to deal with are: Stupid Autostop/Autostart features, 9 speed transmissions that take forever to downshift, going to gas stations every week.

    What they say about depreciation is right though, and it’s a major reason I bought a used Volt. I paid about $17k for a 3 year old car with 33,000 miles that original had a sticker price just North of $40,000 (Mine has every option that was available). When you consider the engineering that went into the Volt, it’s probably an even better value. The Gen 1 Volt was very overengineered and has proven to be very reliable. And even if you don’t believe that, as a Certified Pre-owned vehicle, it came with 12 months and 12,000 miles of bumper to bumper warranty, and the balance of a 5 year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty and a 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the battery, electric drivetrain, and all equipment that is a part of the electric system (this include many components of the A/C and heating system, since it’s part of the battery management system too. It’s basically a used car with a 5 year warranty on most of the major equipment.

    The thing has been flawless for me. I can go 2 years between oil changes. Other than that, there’s basically no maintenance. My engine has about 6000 gas miles on it at this point, and 37,000 miles of electric. I’m standing at a combined 222 mpg. I’ve gone up to 4000 miles without stopping at a gas station.

    It costs me about $1 of electricity to drive about 40 miles and after that, I get about 37 mpg on gas. Most days I drive on just battery. I’ve put 10,000 miles on it and filled it up 3 times with about 8 gallons of gas. My 8 mile commute to work uses 2kwh, or about 20 cents of power.

    I’m totally considering a BEV compliance car for my kids when they reach driving age, because they are cheap, and it will keep them from driving too far from the house. :)

    I still have an Acadia as the other car, because I still need to tow a camper, but as a commuter car that occasionally has to go on up to 200 mile round trips for work, it’s about perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Interesting…..great feedback! After the last $100 fill up of
      Premium in my wife’s Infiniti QX70, she is seriously considering a hybrid/electric of some sort. I’m no where near making that decision yet, but for a daily commuter for her it makes sense. I see my share of Volts. Leaf(s) and Teslas up here in the middle of a Canadian Winter so I assume that they do well in the cold.

      • 0 avatar
        emg77

        They do fine in the cold, but it does kill the range because the heat is electric and can draw up to 6kw per hour (the battery has about 10kw available. Below 15 degrees F it forces the engine to run to create heat. So it can get as low as 20-25 miles on electric in the winter. With snow tires and the weight of the batteries, it’s an awesome car in the snow. I live near Detroit.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll have the rest of my life to buy an EV and I have a rather strong affinity for my ICE engines.

    I’ll probably wait until they get 50%+ market before buying an EV for myself.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    I assume you are being sarcastic, a Toronto fan calling the B’s a choke artist is funny (2013!!), and I am no Bruins fan. This from a Wings fan – the greatest team in the 50’s and 1997-2009. Also why bring Ottawa into this, they have never won a cup or done anything eh.
    Finally…
    Go Jets!!!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    20% seems high, but I bet it’s way more than the 3% who are buying cars that could be considered “electric” today. Just the coastal blue cities alone could account for it. Pretty much everyone I know in Seattle either plans to buy an electric car or wants one but can’t afford it.

    My next car purchase will be to replace my C-Max that goes off lease next April. It will be a full electric if the right lease deal is there, otherwise another plug-in hybrid.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    If I had a daily commute, I would probably buy an electric car now. Probably either an eSmart or a used 500e. But I don’t. I don’t drive enough to care, the short range cars can’t make the round trip to the airport without charging, and the long range cars cost too much.

    Tesla has an almost workable for the moment charging network, but their cars are overpriced junk. The Bolt is a real car, but no decent charging infrastructure for trips. The rest are too short-ranged to consider other than as a cheap as possible commuter pod. And even then, I have to wonder is the advantage vs. a much more flexible used Prius really worth it, if you are looking at lowest possible TCO? I don’t care about saving the planet, it will save itself by, as George Carlin once said, “shaking humanity off like a dog shakes off fleas”. I shall be long dead, and I am not reproducing.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Remember when folks used to reply to every “what car?” question with M.I.A.T.A (Miata Is Always The Answer)? I think now it’s V.O.L.T. (Volt Owners Love Them). Electric when you want it, gas when you need it. Gen 1 is cheap as chips used and dead reliable. Gen 2 is has more power, range, and cabin tech (e.g. CarPlay), and leases cheap if you win Chevy’s incentive roulette (I didn’t).

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Survey Says:

    20% will buy an electric car next time, and…..

    Hilary will win in a landslide.

    Large grains of salt needed these days on survey results.

    • 0 avatar
      vehic1

      kosmo: What election-eve survey said “landslide”? Trump only lost the popular vote by 2%. And the 20% EV figure didn’t specify an exact year of purchase.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’m of two minds about this. As I approach my dotage years, I reaaaallly want to revisit my youth with a retro-modern ponycar (Chally R/T FTW), but I also want an either a hybrid or EREV car or van for all of the schlub driving you have to do around town. I guess I’m still not ready for a real BEV, although my current (heh!) situation would allow for one.

    To be determined at a later date…

  • avatar
    arach

    Its a trick question.

    I AM 100% PLANNING ON BUYING AN ELECTRIC CAR.

    I want one NOW, but I will NOT:
    1. Pay more than a gas car
    2. Deal with low range
    3. Settle for something smaller than an SUV or Truck

    So as long as tech holds up to what I want it to, and electric cars are High Range, cheaper than gas, and start coming in large vehicles soon… I WILL buy one.

    the problem is, will those 3 assumptions pan out?

    I think a lot of “I will buy an electric car” respondants are like me. They are receptive to electric cars, but aren’t willing to accept the shortcomings of a new product.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    Can’t see myself buying a pure EV because there are exactly zero charging stations in my rural Kentucky town. I would, however, buy a used Volt. They are amazing bargains on the used car market and can be frequently found as Certified Pre-Owned. In fact, I kind of wish I would have went that route. My commute is 8 miles (16 round trip) and it would be amazing to go days, weeks, or even months without using any gasoline.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I bought a used C-Max to replace my Sportwagen with the intent of probably buying an electric car in another 5 years or so.

    I’m interested to see what happens with the Bolt in terms of re-sale in 2-3 years to see how cheap they’ll be and how the battery capacity will fare. I could easily add a high voltage charger to my garage to accommodate it when/if the time comes.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Not on your life would I consider an electric car. These things literally have NOTHING to offer me in any way shape form or fashion. Jeep CJs/Wranglers, Ram trucks, muscle cars, turbocharged hot hatches…these are what I’ve owned in the past and pretty much all that interest me. What could POSSIBLY make a person who can and has almost exclusively owned fun, stylish, interesting and high performance vehicles want to consider downgrading to something boring, mundane and ugly? Electric and hybrid cars are a HARD no way no how for the same reason I’m not gonna start dating dumpy everyday women. Not gonna happen, bud.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    Count me in as part of the 80%, I have about as much interest in buying an electric car as I do in going out on a date with Roseanne Barr…

  • avatar
    bubbajet

    20 percent? I don’t think that many would buy an electric car, but I can certainly believe that close to that percentage would strongly consider one. Electric cars are *so* close to being mainstream and useable in daily life for the vast majority of drivers.

    In fact, I’m in the market right now, will be buying in the next 2 months. I’d love to buy an all-electric car, but a few issues are stopping me and likely others. I’d also consider a plug-in hybrid:

    1. I’m in a rental home. I’d even put up the cost of installing the outlet and leaving it – but I don’t know if I’m staying for the two years or so I’d need to make it worth my while. I also don’t know if the house has adequate service to handle the load, it’s close. Adding 40-50 amps to the house can be a stretch. This is true for an EV or a PHEV.

    1a. If you’re in an apartment (put another way, not in a single-family home), you’re likely SOL for an EV.

    2. The manufacturers are still trying to make a statement with their EVs and PHEVs. . C’mon, people. It’s a car. Stop trying to “look green” and shout to the world about it. The Bolt is merely odd. The Clarity and Prius are just ugly. Yes, you’re making a statement but it’s not the one you think it is. The Volt looks…OK, but it’s tiny inside.

    3. Size matters. The Bolt and Volt are just too dang small inside. They work fine as a city car (see problems with charging if you’re in an apartment) but I just stuffed a couple of 10 foot PVC pipes and a ladder in my Accord. I need room for four real people, and a real trunk. The Clarity is the winner here for PHEVs; it’s perfect size-wise, but it’s just ugly. The Bolt would be hands-down the winner if it was maybe 10-20% larger inside and had just a few creature comforts. (No sunglasses holder. Really)

    4. Cheap-looking materials suck. Shiny, sparkly, hard plastic sucks to look at. Cheap-looking cloth interiors, or Toyota’s “soft-tex” whatever that is, suck. The Prius and Clarity have (not kidding) plastic hub caps. I’m not going to buy a car to keep for 8 years or so if it has plastic hub caps. Seriously.

    All people want is a real car, that looks like a real car, and is sized like a real car. Why this is so hard I don’t understand. The Tesla 3 is by all accounts the real winner – looks pretty much like a car, enough range, decent price. If I could buy one I would even though it doesn’t make financial sense. I’d do it just to push the market forward.

    FYI, over 5 years the Accord and Camry hybrids now cost almost the same to own as their non-hybrid brethren. At around $4/gallon for gas, the hybrids start coming out ahead. The Clarity, particularly with the $7500 tax credit is by far the cheapest although that might get evened out by the horrendous PHEV depreciation. Wouldn’t matter to me, I’m intending to buy for 8+ years, but there you are.

    I really, really wanted to buy an electric or plug-in hybrid this go-around. It’s not going to happen, and it’s mostly because of stupid design decisions. I’ll likely wind up with a Camry or Accord hybrid – and why those don’t come in a plug-in version I simply can’t understand. Either one of those as a PHEV would be more than perfect. The Bolt, if it was slightly larger and nicer inside, would be great as well.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Don’t sweat the power for a PHEV. A PHEV will charge up fine even on 120 volts overnight. (Honestly even a short-range BEV will too, if you’re only using about half the battery each day.)

      I think many people share your views (I do anyway), though the Chrysler Pacifica (plug-in) Hybrid or Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV should do the trick for size queens (they’re pretty nice inside too).

      GM should have been concurrently planning a Voltec Equinox alongside Volt 2.0, since really the only thing wrong with the Volt is the packaging. I mean, who would design the ideal carpool vehicle, and then put in too little rear headroom for adults? Who does that? (Also: they should have targeted 200 hp, not 150, for the powertrain: that would be enough to make a Volt fly and an Equinox hold its own.)

  • avatar
    kobo1d

    If the price is right, why not? We would have considered a Pacifica plug-in but they were impossible to find when we we’re looking. I’ve considered buying an old Leaf as a third car, but it doesn’t really make sense right now.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    I can answer the headline question in one word.

    “NO”.

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