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Study: Car shoppers won't pay extra for EVs

Automotive News reports on a study of consumer attitudes toward electric vehicles, which finds that people will not pay more for an electric car than they would for a gasoline engine car.

Automotive News

A survey of U.S. consumers has some good news--and some terrible news--for EV makers: More than half the respondents said they're willing to consider an EV, but almost none said they are willing to pay the price.

Only 9 percent of respondents said they would pay a $2,000 premium for an EV, according to the study by the Deloitte consulting firm. But EV battery packs now cost about $10,000.

In nearly all 17 countries in which the survey was conducted, most respondents said they were unwilling to pay any price premium for EVs.

Generally, consumer expectations regarding EVs are so unrealistic that automakers are unlikely to satisfy them any time soon, said Craig Giffi, leader of Deloitte's U.S. automotive practice. Giffi said "pure" battery EVs can't meet the desires of mass-market consumers in terms of price, range, and charging time.

"The solution seems to be a combination of hybrid technologies for the near future," Giffi said in an interview last week.

Deloitte surveyed 13,500 people in 17 countries and found high interest in EVs. In most countries, a majority of respondents considered themselves a "first mover" likely to buy an EV or someone "willing to consider" EVs. In the United States, 54 percent fell into those categories.

But the study shows that when consumers shop for EVs, they are likely to be dissatisfied with:

Price. Strong majorities of consumers--78 percent in the United States--were unwilling to pay more than $30,000 for an EV. This makes government incentives critical to drive sales, Giffi said.

Range. To satisfy a majority of consumers in most countries, EVs would have to get at least 200 miles on a single battery charge. That's about double the range of most EVs today.

Charging time. Most consumers wanted a charging time of less than two hours, significantly below the current time for 240-volt charging, which takes three to eight hours, Deloitte said. Charging using a 110-volt household line takes 10 to 20 hours.

(Source: Automotive News)