AAA: 1-in-5 U.S. Drivers Want an Electric Vehicle

AAA reveals its annual top picks for electric, hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles

Automotive
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A new AAA survey shows that 20 percent, or 50 million Americans will likely go electric for their next vehicle purchase, up from 15 percent in 2017.  With lower-than-average ownership costs, increased driving ranges and the latest advanced safety features, AAA sees a strong future for electric vehicles.  To help “green” car shoppers make an informed choice, AAA conducts independent, rigorous test-track evaluations of plug-in hybrids, hybrid and fuel-efficient, gas-powered vehicles.

“America’s appetite for electric vehicles is getting stronger every year,” said Tom Ashley, AAA East Central Executive Vice President.  “Whether it’s concerns for the environment, attraction to lower long-term costs or advanced technology, more and more auto buyers are finding reasons to go electric.” 

Perhaps adding to American’s desire for electric vehicles, AAA’s survey found that “range anxiety” is beginning to ease.  Among those unsure or unwilling to choose an electric vehicle for their next car, 63 percent (down 9 percent from 2017) cited not enough places to charge as a detractor while 58 percent (down 15 percent from 2017) expressed concern over running out of charge while driving.  Not surprisingly, range anxiety is less of a concern for millennials (48 percent) than Generation X or Baby Boomers (64 percent and 66 percent, respectively).

While range is important to most electric and hybrid vehicle shoppers (87 percent), it is not the only consideration.  Reliability is king with nine-in-ten (92 percent) of those likely to by an electric or hybrid vehicle stating it is important when evaluating which car to buy. Electric and hybrid car shoppers are also prioritizing:

  • Crash ratings (77 percent)
  • Cost (71 percent)
  • Acceleration and handling (69 percent)
  • And, advanced safety technology such as automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance (60 percent).

Fewer drivers are concerned with style, color, or design of the vehicle (34 percent) or brand of the vehicle (33 percent).  Full survey results available here.

To help drivers looking to making the switch or find their next green vehicle, AAA's Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center conducts extensive and thorough testing of high fuel efficiency, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles each year, and assigns ratings based on criteria important to buyers such as ride quality, safety and performance.

In 2018, the following vehicles earned AAA’s Top Green Vehicle award:

Category

Vehicle

Overall

Tesla Model X 75D

Subcompact Car

Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier

Compact Car

Nissan Leaf SL

Midsize Car

BMW 530e i-Performance

Large Car

Tesla Model S 75

Pickup

Ford F-150 4X4 XLT Sport

SUV/Minivan

Tesla Model X 75D

Best Under $30K

Kia Niro LX

Best $30K - $50K

Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier

Best Over $50K

Tesla Model X 75D

 

Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews and an in-depth analysis of the green vehicle industry can be found at AAA.com/greencar.

Although Americans may be more eager to buy an electric vehicle, having the right infrastructure will be critical to its widespread adoption.  In 2018, the availability of charging stations had grown to more than 16,000 in the United States and, although anxiety over range has reduced, AAA’s survey found consumer expectation for charging time while on the road may not align with reality.  Seven-in-ten (68 percent) Americans feel that while out driving, a charging time of no more than 30 minutes is a reasonable amount of time to wait.

Drivers can access charging station locations through the Auto Club App or TripTik Planner.  Additional survey data, study methodology, graphics, photos and video can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.  News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.             

For More Information, Contact:
Jim Garrity, Public & Community Relations Manager
Desk: 412-365-7274 / Cell: 412-905-9021 / Email: Garrity.James@aaaec.com

-AAA-