A new survey from YouGov found that 11% of Americans who hold a driver’s license, equivalent to a market of 21 million people, would consider buying an electric vehicle (EV). Those inclined to purchase an EV are more likely than the general driving population to be in the 25-44 year age group, vote Democratic and consider climate change a serious issue.
The YouGov results show a larger potential market than currently exists. Only about 1% of cars on the road are electric, although consumers have shown more interest and automakers have responded by putting more resources into electric models and charging infrastructure. Other surveys have shown more enthusiasm for electric cars; a McKinsey&Company survey in December found that half of potential buyers would consider an electric vehicle, although many were turned off by the high cost.
Automakers have increasingly pushed their full electric vehicles; General Motors made waves this fall when it announced plans to cut 15% of its workforce and discontinue five passenger models in a move to “prioritize future vehicle investments in its next-generation battery-electric architectures.” Volvo plans to add an all electric version of each model by 2019 and have 50% of sales be electric by 2025.
The surge also comes as more public policy is promoting EVs; last week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order establishing a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program to promote EV use in the state. Nine states have followed California’s lead in setting up a ZEV mandate as well, helping to create a stronger market for the cars.