Despite All The Hype, Consumer Interest in Electric Vehicles Is Mild

It’s the 21st century, and there’s so much hype surrounding electric vehicles (EVs). EVs are being splashed all over media as “the vehicles of the future”. Despite that, consumer interest in them is actually mild. Gasoline vehicles will still dominate the market in the foreseeable future.

There’s some consumer interest in electric vehicles. Yet, these consumers make up only a small slice of the market. We looked at a variety of data and reached the conclusion that electric vehicles are a long way from market dominance.

There’s Still A Lot More Interest In Gasoline Powered Vehicles Than EVs

pumping fuel

In 2019, AAA did a study on gasoline vehicles vs EVs. The study concluded that about 85% of American drivers weren’t interested in owning an EV. They preferred gasoline vehicles because:

  • EVs cost much more than gasoline vehicles
  • The public charging infrastructure still leaves much to be desired
  • EVs offer a range more limited than most people are comfortable with

Many other studies and data support AAA’s findings. A more recent survey conducted by Cox Automotive reached the same conclusion. In November and December 2020, Cox Automotive surveyed 1,196 dealers and 1,000 consumers aged 18+. It found that:

  • Only 30% of consumers surveyed were more likely to consider buying an EV in 2021.
  • Only 32% of consumers surveyed would consider buying a hybrid vehicle in 2021.
  • Only 30% of franchised dealers and 7% of independent dealers would consider upgrading their facilities to prepare for increased EV sales.

In a nutshell, EV market domination won’t happen overnight. We did some research on Google Trends, and our findings prove that this theory is well-founded. For instance:

  • Compact SUVs like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V are trending much higher on Google than electric compact SUVs like the Hyundai Kona EV.
  • The gasoline-powered Hyundai Kona is trending much higher on Google than the Hyundai Kona EV.
  • Despite all the publicity surrounding Tesla (and Elon Musk), Tesla isn’t trending as high as other luxury car brands like Lexus.
  • There isn’t much interest in Rivian (another electric car brand that specializes in pickup trucks and SUVs) on Google. The search phrase “Ford trucks” is trending very high on Google.

There is some interest in EVs on Google. Yet, it’s not even close to the overwhelming interest in gasoline vehicles.

It Will Take Decades Before EVs Dominate The Roads

Electric vehicle

People are still buying gasoline engine cars. Only two years ago, a staggering 95% of new vehicles sold in the US were fueled by gasoline.

Even if the majority of consumers are interested in EVs, it will be a long time before EVs dominate the roads. The average age of cars on the road is almost 12 years old. Drivers are holding onto their old cars. So the transition to EVs on the road will be quite slow.

Even if a consumer is set on buying an EV today, their options are quite limited. Pickup trucks and SUVs remain the most popular types of vehicles to buy. Cox Automotive’s survey concluded that, if they were to buy a new vehicle in 2021, most consumers had their hearts set on a truck or SUV. These vehicles haven’t been electrified yet, for the most part. Only a few compact and subcompact SUVs have been electrified. Yet, as of 2021, there are no reasonably priced electric pickup trucks or large SUVs available. Only a few consumers would be willing to settle for a much smaller vehicle for the sake of going electric.

It’s clear that gasoline powered vehicles will dominate the American market in the years to come.

Shops Should Still Adapt To The Growing Popularity Of EVs

repair order

Even though consumer interest in EVs is mild, there is still a market for EVs. These consumers make up a small portion of car owners. Yet, it’s smart for independent and franchised shops to adapt their inventory, services, and practices to accommodate EVs in the upcoming years. EVs won’t take over the market overnight, but they are still growing in popularity. If you’re a shop owner or manager, this ebook may help you adapt to increasing EV sales.


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