Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery
Considering that hybrid vehicles – an established technology – comprise less than three percent of U.S. new vehicle sales, the fact that 26 percent of Americans would consider an electric vehicle (EV) for their next purchase probably sounds pretty good. However a survey of 1,752 adults conducted by Consumer Reports showed that 72 percent were unlikely to consider an EV. At this point, aside from a small number of people that can afford a Tesla Roadster and those with limited requirements that can use an NEV, there are no affordable EV choices anyway.
It also remains to be seen how those consideration numbers will change once people see what EVs actually cost. Nissan, Ford and General Motors will all be releasing electric vehicles (or ER-EVs) over the next 18 months but none of those companies have given any firm indication of what the vehicles would cost. Estimates range from the $25,000-40,000, but no one is certain if that will include the cost of a battery and whether it comes before or after tax subsidies.
One fifth of respondents indicated they would not pay a premium for an EV while another fifth said they would pay up to $5,000 extra. The median premium that people would pay was only $2,068. Given that hybrids typically cost $3,000-5,000 extra than standard gasoline vehicles and that EV batteries remain very expensive, it seems that any hopes of getting EVs into double digit market share in the next few years would be a long shot at best.
[Source: Consumer Reports]