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J.D. Power Says That North Americans Are Still Wary of EVs and AVs

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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier

A lot of new technology is shaking up the auto industry, and some recent studies indicate that Americans are starting to warm up to the changes. But automakers still have a long way to go to convince everyone. The J.D. Power 2020 Q1 Mobility Confidence Index Study polled both Americans and Canadians and discovered lingering concerns about electric and autonomous vehicles.

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J.D. Power stats

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North American consumers’ confidence toward EVs and self-driving cars has decreased a bit according to new data from J.D. Power
Photo: Dustin Hart via Pixabay

Based on a 100-point index scale, Americans rated their confidence in AVs at 35 and their confidence in EVs at 55. This is the first time that self-driving technology rating has decreased since the publications started measuring this statistic. The EV rating, on the other hand, hasn’t changed.

Interestingly enough, this hesitancy about driverless technology and EVs extends to Canada. J.D. Power reports that Canadian drivers ranked confidence in self-driving tech at 36 and confidence in EVs at 57. That’s 3 and 2 points lower than previous ratings for these categories.

More data

Per CNET, 67 percent of Americans think self-driving technology isn’t ready for widespread consumer use. In addition, 30 percent of Americans claim that they’re totally ignorant about EVs and 70 percent of respondents said they’d never sat inside of one before.

Canadian drivers also expressed skepticism about self-driving technology. In particular, some expressed concern that driverless cars wouldn’t be able to handle the region’s snowy road conditions.

Both Americans and Canadians expressed a general concern that autonomous vehicles would lead to a society that lacked proper driving skills because they relied too much on this new technology.

Industry implications

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Consumer interest and confidence in driverless tech decrease in the U.S. and Canada
Photo: Julien Tromeur via Pixabay

Kristin Kolodge, executive director of Driver Interaction & Human Machine Interface Research at J.D. Power, claims that automakers should re-evaluate their current EV and driverless vehicle production goals in light of the current research. “[Manufacturers] are investing billions in these technologies but they need to also invest in educating consumers.”

We’ll have to wait and see if these consumer confidence stats change toward EVs and driverless vehicles in the days ahead. Some experts are predicting that consumer needs for mobility will likely shift in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It’s likely that a portion of society will shift from public transportation to private vehicles. EVs and driverless cars might comprise a portion of these private vehicle sales.

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