Americans Lack Awareness On Benefits Of Electric Cars

Are you aware of the tax incentives and other financial benefits of owning plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) here in the United States? Likely not, at least according to a new survey recently co-authored by two researchers finding the vast majority of Americans don’t know choices available to them to ease upfront costs of this new green technology.

This survey, according to Indiana University researchers, administered to more than

2,000 drivers in 21 of the nation’s largest cities, revealed that 95 percent of the respondents didn’t know about state and local subsidies, rebates and other incentives. A large majority, 75 percent, was uninformed about the savings in fuel and maintenance costs that all PEVs are expected to generate compared to gasoline vehicles.

“Only two out of 758 survey respondents living in areas where subsidies for home-charging equipment are offered were aware of their availability,” the researchers noted in a statement. “The low rate of awareness of state and local PEV incentives suggests the incentives have not yet been meaningfully communicated to members of the mainstream public.”

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt (image copyright EarthTechling)

In addition to not being aware of subsidies, “a majority of consumers also can’t answer basic factual questions about the cost of owning a PEV.” This again signals a lack of awareness and education about the benefits of vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt to would be owners.

“It is well established that current mainstream consumer interest in these vehicles is low,” said John D. Graham, one of the co-authors of the report. “What should be particularly troubling for PEV proponents and manufacturers is that the respondents to our survey live in major urban areas, the places where PEVs make the most sense due to daily travel patterns. For sales to increase, consumers need to be better informed about the financial incentives and advantages of owning an alternatively fueled car.”

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.