Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This morning, I found this interesting Zpryme report on the market for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. While the projections are somewhat interesting, I think such things are always basically guesswork. More useful is the survey of current consumers. According to Zpryme "A web-based survey was conducted from November 17 – 22, 2010, to a representative sample of 1,046 men and women in the U.S.". I'm not quite sure how you guarantee that a "web-based survey" is "representative", but I guess we'll have to give them the benefit of the doubt.
At any rate, you can see above that the result suggests that 8% or so of consumers are Very Likely to buy an EV in the next two years. That sounds like a huge number for a nascent market that literally sold the first production cars from major vendors in the last month or two. However, drilling into some internals suggests some modification of this conclusion. In particular, of the "Likely" purchasers, about 10% are willing to spend $10k over an equivalent conventional vehicle:
To go beyond that into a mass market, however, the premium is going to have to come down quite a bit (or else oil prices go up correspondingly).
The survey also asked about how much environmental issues where a factor in people's consideration of an EV. Unsurprisingly, almost all likely buyers are motivated at least in part by environmental concerns: