According to a 2020 AAA survey, prior to owning an electric vehicle, a majority of owners (91%) said that they had at least one concern – things like insufficient range, implications for long-distance travel and finding a place to charge. Post purchase, many of these worries disappeared. AAA believes that if consumers have a better understanding of the real cost and experience of owning an electric vehicle, then the gap between expressed interest and adoption will begin to close.
“Although 40 million Americans have shown interest in buying electric for their next car, actual adoption is happening at a much slower rate,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “AAA wanted to understand what kind of impact the experience of owning an electric vehicle has on perception of these cars and maybe more importantly, if given the chance would consumers choose to go green again.”
AAA’s survey of electric vehicle owners, 71% of whom had not previously owned an electric car, revealed some interesting results:
- The majority (96%) say they would buy or lease another electric vehicle the next time they were in the market for a new car.
- 43% of EV owners say they drive more now than when they owned a gas-powered car. On average, electric vehicle owners drive 39 miles per day.
- 78% also have a gas-powered car in the household, yet they report doing a majority of their driving (87%) in their electric vehicle.
Perhaps the most surprising result of the survey was the impact ownership has on commonly-held fears about electric vehicles, particularly those that have deterred consumers from making the leap to green. Previous AAA research has found that the top two reasons why Americans shy away from electric vehicles are not enough places to charge (58%) and the fear that they will run out of charge while driving (57%). Almost all owners surveyed (95%) report never having run out of a charge while driving and on average, they do three fourths (75%) of their charging at home. Likely as a result, those who were originally concerned about insufficient range said they became less or no longer concerned post-purchase (77%).
“Range anxiety has been synonymous with electric vehicles from the beginning,” said Brannon. “Hearing firsthand from owners that this is no longer a worry may change the mind of those who have otherwise been skeptical to the idea of owning an electric vehicle.”
—Written by Jennifer Cook