Lack of Awareness Still a Problem for Electric Vehicle Industry

Electric vehicle sales are at unprecedented highs. There are more EVs on the roads than ever and sales aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon. But recent surveys suggest that consumers have a lack of awareness when it comes to electric vehicles.

Lack of Awareness

A recent Altman Vilandrie & Company survey produced some interesting findings relating to American consumers’ awareness of EVs. The survey, of over 2500 consumers, found that 60% were unaware about electric cars. 

A Dalia transport survey, which covered 52 countries, found that 44% of consumers thought EVs were just too expensive. But, with the current tax incentives, EVs are cheaper than ever. Although new EVs can be more expensive than their gas counterparts, the difference is usually marginal.

Used EVs, on the other hand, offer nearly unbeatable value for money. Steep depreciation rates mean you can pick up some secondhand bargains for just 15% of their original price.

A staggering amount of people have no awareness of the EV industry and others seem to be misinformed.

Praise from Electric Car Owners

If EV owners were having bad experiences, it’d be understandable that the public would have little interest in the industry. But, according to a survey of electric car drivers based in North America and Europe, that’s not the case. It found that 85% of drivers who have made the switch to electric are happy with it.

The Altman Vilandrie & Company’s survey also found, out of those who have travelled in an EV, only 8% didn’t like the experience. The same study found that 60% people who have been in an EV enjoyed it.

Communication Problem

Other results from the Dalia survey would suggest that the public is generally misinformed about what an EV is.

When asked to name brands they thought offered ‘all-electric cars‘, they placed Toyota and Honda second and fourth respectively. But Toyota and Honda are some of the only major manufacturers that don’t currently produce an all-electric car.

Toyota produces the hybrid Prius and Honda produces the Clarity, which is powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Could it be that the public is confused about the difference between a hybrid and an all-electric vehicle? Nissan, the producer of the best-selling electric vehicle to date, the Leaf, wasn’t mentioned at all.

Members of the public may still have some confusion over the differences between a hybrid and an all-electric vehicle.

Why does this knowledge gap exist? Should manufacturers be doing more to inform the public about electric vehicles?

By Robert Bacon
Updated: April 25, 2017