Sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) increased 80 percent in the U.S., but consumer awareness still remains a core market challenge, says a new report from Navigant Research.
The market is driven by continuous improvements in vehicle and charging technology, and strong growth is expected to continue this year, the report says.
However, increasing consumer knowledge of PEV technologies and incentives remains a core market challenge. According to the report, many consumers are still unaware of or misinformed on the operating and purchase economics of PEVs.
As a result, PEV growth is not equally distributed across the U.S. but rather largely centered in urban areas and states with PEV purchase or zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) incentives.
“These pockets indicate that policy and economics play a large role in the adoption of PEVs, and that educating consumers who are outside the typical early adoption category can improve the perceptions of PEVs and decrease the amount of misinformation in the market,” said Raquel Soat, research analyst with Navigant Research.
Historically, PEV consumers have been wealthy, young, and highly educated, however, survey results indicate that may be changing.
Those most likely to adopt a PEV as their next vehicle purchase largely reside in the in the Southeast, Northeast, and Pacific regions of the US, which is consistent with the geographic distribution of PEV owners.
However, the Southeast region saw the highest number of consumers likely to adopt a PEV—a region where few states have state-level PEV purchase incentives or ZEV mandates. This indicates a market that is interested in new technology but may need supportive PEV policies and consumer education strategies to increase adoption.