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Do customers prefer electric vehicles over gas-powered ones?
Much of the reporting on the electric vehicle industry has focused on ‘when’ customers will switch, and not ‘if’ or ‘why’. The switch to electric was simply assumed. But, much like our assumption that Bennifer was done forever, we may have been wrong.
New studies: Research recently conducted by the US National Bureau of Economic Research provides deeper insights into customer acceptance of electric vehicles. In a survey of electric vehicle owners in California, the bureau found:
- Owners, on average, drove their EV less than half the average annual distance of gas-powered vehicles. This suggests either electric vehicle owners drive less per year or use their EV as a secondary vehicle, rather than a primary.
Switching back to gas: Two additional studies, one from the Nature Energy and one from the non-profit KAPSARC, found roughly 20 percent of EV purchasers in California eventually returned to gas-powered vehicles. That number jumps to 50 percent when looking at the rest of the United States. Battery range of EVs and availability of charging stations were the top-cited reasons for switching back.
Zoom out: Electric vehicles vehicles will be a part of our transportation future and their is news on the industry occurring daily, but the industry may not be as mature as it seems.
Ultimately, the customers… drive… the industry. Function, fashion, and finance cannot be ignored.