A new study finds that drivers who own or lease electric cars are wealthier and better-educated than the general public.
The Electric Vehicle Information Exchange (EVIX), a service of consulting group Oceanus Automotive, released the "Electric Vehicle Survey Panel" this month. The report analyzes the behavior of surveyed consumers across the country, according to The Detroit Free Press.
The survey focused on drivers who own, lease, or are interested in EVs; only five percent of the 970 respondents reported no interest. Compared to US national statistics, the EVIX respondents are more than twice as wealthy as most Americans, with a median household income of $108,624. The national median household income is $51,914.
Of the "early enthusiasts" for EVs, 77 percent hold four-year degrees or higher, compared to 28 percent of the public. 85 percent are white, compared to 78 percent of the US population. 79 percent are male. They average 46-years-old; the country's median age is 37.
EVIX, which works to promote the electric vehicle industry, noted in the report that drivers who are interested in purchasing an EV are not only younger and less wealthy than current owners, they have higher expectations:
People who are considering electric vehicles today are pragmatic. They want an EV that can compete with its gas engine counterparts on price, quality and performance. They do not want to buy an EV just to be a good friend to the environment. They want an EV that can go the distance as their everyday driver...Without a minimum range of 150 miles per charge, most non-EV driver respondents said they would not seriously consider becoming an EV driver.
The EV industry has suffered numerous setbacks in recent months. Battery maker A123 filed for bankruptcy; Nissan announced this week it will fall far short of sales goals for the Leaf.
Nonetheless, automakers are competing for those interested drivers. GM has promised to put 500,000 hybrid and electric cars on the road by 2017, and Tesla's Model S has been widely acclaimed by critics as one of the best cars available.
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