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Don’t Know Anything About Electric Cars? Survey Reveals That You’re Not Alone

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plug-in electric vehicle car consumer knowledge study survey

Electric cars aren’t a brand new thing; over the past decade, most every automaker has had a hybrid or plug-in electric vehicle in its lineup or on the way. The industry as a whole is largely pushing toward eco-friendly, alternative fuel solutions for automobiles.

But how many people do you know who actually own an electric vehicle? And how much thought have you given to making an EV your next purchase?

Chances are, according to a survey by Altman Vilandrie & Company (AVC), you don’t know very much about electric vehicles–and that applies to the majority of consumers.

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The Information Gap Between Automakers and Drivers

Here’s what’s going on: automotive technology is rapidly advancing as new vehicle powertrains are being innovated constantly. Unfortunately, according to a study commissioned by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), automakers are doing very little to advertise and inform consumers about these innovations and what it means for them as buyers/drivers. Thus, the result is that most consumers do not know about, understand, or trust EV technology.

According to the AVC survey, around 60% of respondents answered that “I’ve never heard of electric vehicles” or “I’ve heard of electric vehicles but I don’t know much about them.” The vast majority of respondents hadn’t even ridden in an electric vehicle or didn’t understand what an electric vehicle is.

This divergence is not only creating a gap between sellers and buyers, it’s also creating a rift between the rich and the poor–as 83% of those surveyed assert that electric cars cost too much. Only the wealthy can afford electric vehicles and live in places with the infrastructure to support them.

According to Gas 2, “Overall, the industry has adopted a head in the sand approach to electric cars. Carmakers spend billions every year to advertise their products, but in 2015, the total spent nationwide on EV advertising was under $25 million…a little more than 1%.”

At this rate, the market will be saturated with electric vehicles that the majority of people will not be buying.

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News Sources: Gas 2, Car and Driver