Arlington, Virginia – Americans are enticed by the improved environmental quality and potential cost savings of electric vehicles, but are concerned about battery life and the convenience of recharging, according to a new report by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Forty per cent of consumers polled said they are likely to test-drive an electric vehicle (EV).

Consumers are open to considering an EV in future, with 42 per cent reporting they are likely to follow news reports about them, but overall awareness of the various types of alternative vehicles remains low. While nearly one-third report they are familiar or very familiar with hybrid vehicles, only about one-quarter are familiar with electric-only vehicles.

Those consumers open to buying an EV cite environmental concerns and potential cost savings as primary reasons to do so. Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said the ability to run without gasoline is the greatest advantage, followed by 67 per cent who cited less pollution, and 60 per cent who mentioned the lack of need for oil changes and tune-ups.

“For a new product category, interest in electric vehicles is strong and likely to grow as more vehicles enter the market and consumers become more aware of them,” said Chris Ely, manager of industry analysis for CEA. “Manufacturers, dealers and other sellers will need to emphasize mileage and battery-related specifications when promoting and selling electric vehicles.”

Concerns about range and battery life topped the list of concerns, followed by vehicle cost, reliability and the availability of charging stations. Running out of battery power on the road, lack of charging stations and limited mileage are the most common perceived disadvantages, but 51 per cent also said they would be less likely to consider purchasing an EV if they had to install special charging equipment for the batteries.

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