Survey: More Americans Want Electric Cars

One in five Americans plan on buying an electric vehicle as their next car, according to a study published Tuesday by AAA.

For those who said they want an electric car, 80 percent indicated that environmental benefits were their primary motivator. 67 percent said that long term cost savings would influence their purchasing decision, citing fuel savings and low maintenance costs as major selling points.

That should come as no surprise. Electric cars are famously “green,” a welcome  alternative to the gas-guzzling vehicles of today. According to Tesla’s own research, their vehicles have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from automobiles by as much as 94 percent.

EVs have proven to be more reliable than cars powered by internal combustion engines because they have fewer moving parts, which means fewer things that can break and near repair or replacement, says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports.

“For instance,” Fisher says, “some of the reliability problems we see are with new multi-speed transmissions. Having a one-speed, direct drive eliminates any of those issues.”

92 percent of respondents say reliability is the most important factor, followed by 77 percent prioritizing crash test ratings. 71 percent factored in cost while 69 percent said acceleration and handling were most important.

Thanks to modern technology, many electric cars are capable of impressive acceleration because they produce maximum torque at zero revolutions per minute (rpm) and can continue this pretty much through their rev range.  It’s what enables the large, seven-seat Tesla P90D to surge to 60 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds when it’s set in “Ludicrous” mode.

Encouraging for automakers is that fewer respondents seem concerned about range anxiety. Of the surveyed residents who said they were unlikely to purchase an EV, 58 percent said their biggest concern was running out of charge while driving, down 10 percent from last year.

According to Motor1, some of the longest-range electric vehicles for 2018 include the Kia Soul Electric with a range of 111 miles, the BMW i3 with a range of 114 miles, and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric with a range of 124 miles. Of course, these are all superseded by the ever-expensive Tesla, such the Model S with a range 218 to 315 miles and the Model X with a range of 237 to 295 miles. Although the Chevy Bolt offers Tesla-like range, it doesn’t come with Tesla-like prices: the Bolt touts an amazing 238 miles of range.

With more models hitting the market, Americans are more likely to purchase if the price is right and the range is solid.