Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Policy & Regulation, Smart Grid

New study suggests Northeast could see spike in EVs as millennials embrace e-Mobility

According to a new study from the ‘Drive Change. Drive Electric.’ campaign, millennials are more accepting of electric cars than baby boomers in the Northeast. While more than half of all people surveyed are considering an electric car when shopping for a new vehicle, this increases to 63 percent when considering only millennials and falls to 38 percent with baby boomers alone.

If either group follows through on its level of interest in electric vehicles, the Northeast will see a huge spike in electric vehicle sales, which currently make up about two percent of new vehicle purchases in the region.

“To date, electric car sales have been dominated by Gen-X men,” said Julia Rege, Senior Director, Environment & Energy, at the Association of Global Automakers. “However, with two out of three millennials considering an electric car for their next vehicle, we could see a substantial shift in the marketplace.”

While there are still some barriers and misperceptions to address, there are also key findings from the study that inspire confidence that electric cars are on track to become the norm for drivers of all ages. Both groups overwhelmingly agree — despite some stark generational differences on electric car knowledge — electric is the future of automobiles.

The study also gleaned important information about purchase motivators and barriers for electric cars. One of the biggest purchase motivators for both generations is the national and state financial incentive programs which includes tax credits and rebates.

One of the biggest barriers to purchase, regardless of age, is that people are worried there is a lack of charging infrastructure. In the Northeast, 83 percent of people surveyed believe that there are not enough charging stations available – more baby boomers (87 percent) agree with this than millennials (79 percent). However, almost half of the survey respondents have noticed an increase of available charging stations in their local areas.

Despite dramatic technology advances made by automakers, the study also found that consumers are still worried about the range of electric vehicles. In fact, eight out of ten people surveyed said they have concerns about the distance you can drive an electric vehicle before needing to re-charge it.

Noteworthy Statistics from the ‘Drive Change. Drive Electric.’ Study:

  • Electric cars are on the brink of an ‘electric boom’: Only three percent of Northeasterners are currently driving an electric vehicle, however 52 percent are considering an electric vehicle as their next purchase.
  • Availability of charging stations is the number one concern of drivers: 83 percent say there are not currently enough charging locations for electric vehicles but encouragingly, nearly 50 percent have noticed more electric vehicle charging stations in their area over the past year.
  • There is a real question mark around electric driving distances: 81 percent of Northeast motorists are concerned about the distance you can drive an electric vehicle before needing to re-charge.
  • A cost dilemma faces potential electric car buyers: Despite two in three Northeasterners (64 percent) believing electric vehicles will allow them to save money overall, 85 percent cite the high upfront costs as a barrier.
  • The electric car knowledge gap is gender blind: More than half (53 percent) of Northeasterners don’t feel knowledgeable about electric vehicles and this is particularly high among women (64 percent).
  • There are positive indicators that electric is here to stay: 60 percent of Northeasterners say their household is more likely to consider an electric vehicle today versus a year ago. 82 percent of Northeasterners want to see more types of electric vehicles available in the marketplace.
  • The drive to reduce our environmental footprint: 88 percent of Northeasterners want to reduce their vehicle emissions footprint and three in four acknowledge that gas powered vehicles are becoming antiquated.
  • The rise of local charging stations visibility will drive electric consideration greatly: 80 percent of Northeasterners would be more likely to consider EVs if there were more charging stations available in their area.

e-Mobility is a new zone at DISTRIBUTECH International. Check out the educational tracks for the event here. View the floorplan here.