Americans Want EVs (But Most Won’t Buy)

Here at EarthTechling, we’ve reported on a veritable landslide of electric vehicle (EV) related hubbub from manufacturers and federal agencies. But a new report from Gartner offers some sobering (if predictable) news: U.S. consumer are interested in EVs, but so far, models like the Volt and the Leaf do not meet most of our pricing, usability and cost savings requirements.

Gartner’s latest EV readiness study–conducted in the first quarter of 2011–indicates that 21 percent of all U.S. drivers want to consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase. However, nearly one-third of those drivers have stated that they’re not willing to pay a premium price for an electric car, and only 5 percent are willing to shell out another $10,000 more.

Nissan Leaf

image via Nissan

While there have been plenty of noises made about the challenge EV charging infrastructure poses to consumer adoption, Thilo Koslowski, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says that the primary problem is price. “The ideal EV does not exist yet in today’s automotive market,” he said, in a statement, ”and will likely require another technology generation before it arrives.”

The survey also indicated that 22 percent of those who responded would be satisfied with a 120-mile range from an EV, and 12 percent would find 30 to 60 miles acceptable. (The Chevy Volt has a range of around 40 miles; the Nissan Leaf, 100.)

The full text of the report–along with EV market predictions–is available online.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.