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Survey of Americans About EV Awareness

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by wdolson, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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  2. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    60% never heard of EVs and 85% said they cost too much?
     
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  3. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    I do not believe that 40% of Americans have heard of EV's. That is far too high, so it must be a skewed sample.
    I do believe that of those who've heard of them, 85% think they cost too much.
     
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  4. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    I can believe it. I showed out Model S to my sister and her SO and they both claimed that they had no idea any such thing existed.
     
  5. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    The question I have trouble with is "who makes the Tesla?"
     
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  6. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Recently I took a friend to lunch in my tesla. He said the engine was quiet. I told him it was electric and did not have an engine. He thought I was making fun of him. It took several minutes including opening trunk and frunk to convince him there was no engine. When I plugged into the Destination Charger at the restaurant he was again blown away. This guy is not an idiot, but also not a car guy. Were the survey to have been properly constructed I'd be surprised if more than 20% or US populace have ever heard of EV's.

    Just think of how many people think President Trump won the popular vote. Few people actually pay attention. They're often not stupid just woefully ignorant because they are not concerned with much outside their personal lives.
     
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  7. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    For most people a car is an appliance much like a washing machine with tires on it.

    In their area of expertise, they are probably very knowledgeable. But they do not know how a washing machine really works.

    Fiat is advertising an EV at $59/m 36m lease. So it's not money. Used EVs are <$10k and there are virtually zero 10 year old EVs for sale.

    What people do know is portable electric devices, and how much they suck with a dead battery. This is what EV adoption must overcome, not price.

    One thing is puzzling about the survey. VW and Ford? Toyota, Nissan, and Chevrolet all have more plug-ins by a huge factor.

    So either the survey respondents aren't buyers, or the selection process was flawed.

    A second thing is 20% of people saying they've been in an EV. It's hard to believe the number is that high already with <1% of the cars on the road being plug-ins. They seldom rent plug-ins, or use them as loaners, so it's dealers, friends and family that are the 20:1 factor?
     
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  8. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    I would imagine that many of the 20% think that hybrid=EV.
     
  9. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Of course, just like the young woman who parked her old Prius in the EV charging station at my local Whole Foods, saying "my car IS electric"
     
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  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I have spoken to many people who describe their hybrid as an "electric car". Some of them get upset when I explain to them that the small battery pack in their car provides such a tiny percentage of the overall motive power that it is not in the same vehicle class as a BEV. Others get it.

    Even where I live, the San Francisco Bay Area where Teslas are relatively common (not an exaggeration: I see one every few minutes when driving the freeways here) as are Leafs and Volts some people I talk to have never looked at a Tesla up close or even sat in one. Many people just aren't interested (the car as an "appliance" people that @McRat referred to) or think that EVs are either toys for rich people or are so short range that they can't be bothered to even think about them.

    The Model 3, and the Bolt to some extent, will change the popular mindset over the next few years, initially in places like California where their numbers will become significant, and then gradually in other areas.

    But the survey linked to by the OP seems flawed.
     
  11. wws

    wws Member

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    Even here in Silicon Valley, with EVs and PHEVs all over the place, I've found most of my friends and neighbors are fairly clueless about them. It is a real paradigm shift.
     
  12. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    The article did say:

    "About 60 percent of respondents picked the multiple-choice answers 'I’ve never heard of electric vehicles' or 'I’ve heard of electric vehicles but I don’t know much about them.'"

    I expect most of that 60% have heard of electric vehicles, but have quickly dismissed them as a fad or impractical niche vehicles. Basically glorified golf carts. That would account for the rest of the numbers cited.

    I had some friends from Seattle visit on Sunday. They had heard of Tesla, but didn't know much about it. They have been thinking about replacing their Prius and were looking at other hybrids. One of the things they didn't like about the Prius was the weirdmobile look. We went to lunch in my Tesla and I got to accelerate moderately hard in a couple of places. They were full of questions and were unaware of a lot of things like where they were built, the superchargers, etc. But they were very impressed and were going to go home and put down a deposit on a Model 3 (a Model S is out of their price range). They were planning on waiting 1-2 years anyway.

    They need to run down to Oregon a couple of times a month to see her mother who is in a home south of Portland. Even with the Prius, the price of gas is a bite. I told her what supercharging would cost and she thought that was very reasonable.

    I've run into a lot of people who didn't know much about electric cars. Most I've run into know they exist, but know very little beyond that.
     
  13. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

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    Most non-EV enthusiasts think the following about EVs, if anything:

    1) They're slow
    2) They can only go 40 miles on a charge
    3) They're too expensive (Partially true)
    4) I'm afraid I'll be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery (True, if you don't plan accordingly)

    I think we're within about 3 years of EVs going pretty mainstream, and public awareness of them and their attributes increasing accordingly.
     
  14. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    I agree. Most of the public today don't know someone who owns an EV. I'm the first person in my social circle to own one. Though I know a number of hybrid owners. I know one guy who's been following Tesla longer than I have, but owning an EV is pretty much impossible in the neighborhood where he lives. Few of the houses in his neighborhood have garages or even on property parking. The houses were mostly 100 years old or more. There are rings in the sidewalk to tie up your horse, but charging an EV at home in that neighborhood is pretty much impossible.

    At this time all the EVs that are within the budget of most middle class people are weird mobiles that sacrifice a lot. That's the perception the major car makers have put into the public's mind. When Teslas start showing up in average middle class neighborhoods and people get to see them up close and experience them, people's attitudes will change.

    One of my first thoughts when I read that article was considering how ignorant the public still is about EVs, the Model 3 still got 400,000 reservations. That indicates there is likely a big upside for the Model 3. There are probably more than 400,000 people who know about the Model 3, but are waiting to actually see it in the aluminum before plunking down any money and this survey shows a significant number of people are still unaware of much in the EV world and when they get educated, some percentage of them will want one.

    It all bodes well for the future of Tesla.
     
  15. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    I got that question a lot early on, not so much in the past 2+ years. Maybe because the DC area has quite a few now -- I see one (other than my own of course!) nearly every day now, and I don't spend all that much time driving.

    What's surprising to me is that people I know, who've known for 3+ years that I have a Tesla, still ask me question like, "so is there a gasoline backup, or is it really electric only?"
     

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