Over 95% of electric vehicle drivers would make another EV their next car – AAA study.
There’s a common sentiment among electric vehicle enthusiasts: Once you drive one, you understand. Driving an EV is such a different experience from driving a conventional combustion-powered vehicle that it really only takes one drive to get hooked on electrons—and once you own one, you don’t want to go back.
Now AAA has come along to back up anecdotal evidence with some statistical proof in a study released in early 2020.
“The majority of electric vehicle owners (96%) say they would buy or lease one again the next time they are in the market for a new car,” according to the study.
The responsive nature of an electric powertrain, capable of delivering instant torque and acceleration at any speed, is intoxicating. The smooth and quiet ride of a vibration-free energy source automatically makes EVs more comfortable than comparable combustion cars. People want to keep driving electric to enjoy these tangible perks to the driving experience, before even getting into the massive cost savings that are possible.
The study showed another side of “once you drive one, you understand,” too. When first introduced to the concept of electric driving, people often raise the same concerns: Where can I charge it? What if I run out of range? Electric vehicle shoppers learn the answers to these questions.
1. Buy a car capable of meeting your driving needs.
2. Charge at home and learn the locations of local chargers.
3. Don’t take the car further than it can reasonably go.
AAA itself titled the report “Owning an Electric Vehicle is the Cure for Most Consumer Concerns,” which basically hits the nail on the head that once you live with an EV, range and charging concerns largely become non-issues.
Nine in ten (91%) electric vehicle owners say they had at least one concern prior to purchasing their car. Insufficient range and finding a place to charge were among the most common. Electric vehicle ownership had a positive impact on easing these concerns:
Eight in ten (77%) of those originally concerned about insufficient range became less or no longer concerned.
Seven in ten (70%) of those originally concerned about lack of places to charge became less or no longer concerned.
Once you’re in the swing of things, charging an electric car becomes much more convenient than filling up a gasser. As more long-range EVs hit the market and more charging stations come online, it’s only going to get easier.
This is even more notable given the selection of cars for the study. Tesla owners love their cars and don’t feel these concerns nearly as much owners of EVs from other manufacturers given the long ranges of Teslas and an incredible network of well-supported fast chargers for them.
AAA didn’t talk to any of them, though. Instead they surveyed 1,090 owners of mostly shorter range EVs. The 2019 electric vehicle models selected for this study were: Chevrolet Bolt (LT), Hyundai Ionic Electric (Base), Kia Soul EV (+), Nissan Leaf (SV) and Volkswagen eGolf (SE), according to the report.
With the exception of the Chevy Bolt, all of the cars surveyed have between 110 and 150 miles of range—making it even more meaningful that the vast majority of their drivers no longer suffer from range anxiety or worry about where to charge.
It’s true that these shorter range EVs don’t work for everybody, and if someone gets into an electric vehicle that doesn’t have enough range for their driving needs, or they don’t have reliable charging at work or home, they are much more likely to have a negative experience and go back to gas.
This is why it’s hugely important for retailers to properly educate new electric vehicle shoppers. Our recommendations for a happy transition to electric driving are always as follows:
1. Purchase an EV with at least twice as much range as your daily commute. You’ll always have enough electricity to make it to and from work, even on especially cold or hot days when range is reduced or when you want to make extra stops.
2. Charge at home overnight or at work during the day. You’ll only need to stop to charge in public if you’re going on a road trip.
When people switch to an electric vehicle, they’re making a commitment to try and make that change work. As long as they’re set up for success, the many significant benefits of electric driving are bound to have owners coming back for more. Our electric vehicle experts are here to help you when you’re ready to make the switch with your first—or looking for your next—electric vehicle.