Electric Vehicles Seen as Key to Achieving Energy Independence

Seven out of ten Americans say that it is important to expand the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs) as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil, according to results from the latest Market Strategies International E2 (Energy + Environment) Study. However, while 70 percent agree that it is important to expand the use of Electric Cars, fewer than half (43 percent) see themselves personally driving one in the next ten years.

Market Strategies’ E2 (Energy + Environment) Study is a national survey designed to gain an understanding of American’s attitudes and opinions about energy and environmental issues and how they intersect.

‘The findings are enlightening,’ said Jack Lloyd, a vice president in the Energy Division at Market Strategies. ‘Respondents clearly see the importance of EVs but don’t necessarily see themselves driving one in the immediate future. The reason may be ‘range anxiety’.’

‘Range anxiety’ is the concern about a vehicle’s range and/or battery life – i.e., how far and for how long it can travel. Concerns about range and/or battery life were the most frequently mentioned potential roadblocks to the success of electric car adoption according to 28 percent of the survey respondents.

‘Clearly, the automotive industry has to remove ‘range anxiety’ from the equation before it can expect wide acceptance of Electric Vehicle technology,’ said Lloyd.

The respondents cited several other roadblocks to be overcome before Electric Vehicles could be successful, including:

* 20 percent were concerned about the availability of recharging stations and a recharging infrastructure
* 17 percent were concerned about total cost/affordability
* 9 percent were concerned about the cost of the vehicle

Respondents also were strongly supportive of the U.S. energy industry taking steps to accommodate electric vehicles in the future.

* 66 percent support electric vehicle recharging infrastructure investment by electric utilities
* 54 percent believe electric vehicles will account for about 20 percent of new vehicles sold in 15-20 years
* 52 percent would like to see their electric utilities take a leadership role to encourage a shift to EVs

This latest version represents the ninth wave of the long-term survey. For this most recent version, a total of 1,168 interviews were completed October 14 through October 25, 2010 with consumers nationwide. The respondents were recruited via an online panel to reflect key characteristics of the U.S. population. The data have been weighted to bring the sample characteristics into even closer alignment with the population and to reflect the U.S. Census demographics.