Momentive study: half of Americans would consider an EV

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Momentive study: half of Americans would consider an EV

Van Westendorp Pricing Analysis shows consumers willing to pay $20,000 - $30,000 for an EV

Zoe Padgett

December 1, 2022 | 4 min read

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Key findings:

  • About half of all US adults are at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing an EV (49%), but it differs widely between groups with men, young adults, Democrats, and urbanites more to consider an EV
  • According to our Van Westendorp Pricing Analysis, the acceptable range in EV pricing is $20,000 to $30,000, with an optimal price point of $24,000
  • Range anxiety and charging are the largest concerns about EV ownership; gas savings and environmental impact are the biggest motivators
  • Safety features are by far the most important factor for car-buyers overall (69%), followed by visual appeal (50%), seat features (41%), and convenience features (39%)

EVs more popular among men, young adults, Democrats, and urbanites

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About half of all US adults are at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing an EV (49%), but it differs widely between groups. Men (55%) are more likely than women (44%) to consider an EV, and younger adults 18-34 (63%) are more likely than those age 35-64 (48%) and those ages 65 and up (36%). Democrats (68%) are much more likely than Republicans (32%), and urbanites (65%) are more likely than rural adults (27%). Solar-powered EVs, now available abroad, also interest about half (52%) of Americans, but see a larger, 10 percentage point jump compared with regular EVs in rural adults (37% would consider a solar-powered EV vs. 27% for a regular EV).

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EV awareness is high, with 91% of adults aware of at least one EV brand. Tesla has the highest name-recognition (83%), followed by the Chevy Bolt (54%), the Nissan Leaf (38%) and the Hyundai Electric (37%). However, among American automakers, Tesla has the lowest favorability (56%), beat out by Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep (58%), Ford (72%), and General Motors (77%). With General Motors going all-in on EVs, this may be good news for the automaker. 

Van Westendorp Pricing Analysis shows $24,000 is the optimal EV price point

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We used Momentive’s Van Westendorp Pricing Analysis to determine the optimal price point for an EV among U.S. consumers. The sticker price for a Tesla Model 3 is $46,990, while a Chevy Bolt currently starts at $25,600. According to our analysis, the acceptable range in EV pricing is $20,000 to $30,000. Below $20,000, consumers perceive that an EV is low in quality and not worth buying, while above $30,000 they begin to lose interest in buying. The optimal price point is $24,000 – that’s the point where an equal percentage find the price too expensive or too cheap. The indifference price point is $26,000; at this point, an equal amount think the price is getting expensive, and the other think it’s a bargain. 

Read more about our Van Westendorp Pricing Analysis.

Range anxiety looms large for those considering EVs

Consumers appear to have mixed feelings about EVs. Range anxiety and charging are the largest concerns, with 73% citing concerns about battery life, 71% citing concerns about the availability of charging stations, 66% citing limited driving range, 60% citing slow charging time, and 57% concerned about access to charging at home. Cost is the other major factor at 61%, though consumers are worried about many other issues including software problems (40%), post-warranty expenses (32%), complicated technology (31%), maintenance (31%), and safety and reliability (29%). Only 2% of consumers have no concerns at all about EV ownership. 

On the other hand, fewer consumers have reasons to be motivated to own an EV. The main motivation is saving money on fuel (55%), followed by reducing environmental impact (46%), less maintenance (25%), and tax credits or rebates (22%).

Affordability leads to delays in auto repair and maintenance

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Many Americans delay or avoid auto repair and maintenance, primarily because of costs, according to a new poll from Momentive fielded November 22-28, 2022. Nearly two-thirds of lower-income adults delay auto repair due to affordability (62%), along with 44% of middle-income and 32% of higher-income adults. Lower-income (less than $50,000) and middle-income ($50,000-99,999) adults prioritize price as the top factor in choosing a mechanic (80% and 83%, respectively; vs. 68% of those making $100,000+), while higher-income adults prioritize their trust and relationship with the mechanic (80% vs. 63% of lower-income and 68% of middle-income). 

Safety is a top priority for all

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When it comes to their ideal vehicle, safety features are by far the most important factor for car-buyers overall (69%), followed by visual appeal (50%), seat features (41%), and convenience features (39%). Urban and rural adults differ in the importance of hauling capacity (44% of rural adults say this is important, vs. 15% of urban adults) and environmental impact (15% of rural vs. 36% of urban). 

Which type of vehicle is most likely to have their ideal features? Three-quarters of rural adults say their ideal vehicle is more likely to be gas-powered (74% vs. 49% of urban), while 1 in 5 city-dwellers says it’s an all-battery electric (20%, vs. 6% of rural). 

Read more about our polling methodology here

Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below:

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