Consumer perception of electric vehicles has positively shifted over the last three years, according to a recent survey conducted by Mini USA.
The BMW Group brand found that more Americans, particularly younger and female consumers, view EVs as a primary car in the household more than any other use case. This represents a shift from 2019, when more respondents selected “commuting car” and “city car” as preferred uses.
Commissioned by Engine’s Caravan, the survey further explores consumers‘ level of knowledge about the EV infrastructure in their regions, as well as personal attitudes toward EV ownership and travel needs.
The survey repeated the same set of questions used in a 2019 query. One stat that's remained consistent is daily travel distance, with 76% of respondents in both studies saying that 75 miles of battery range is sufficient for everyday driving.
Expectations for faster charging times are rising. This not only signals an improved perception of available charging technology and its progression over recent years, but an increasing expectation that greater improvements in charging are necessary for rapid EV adoption.
More than two-thirds (67%) of consumers now believe charging should take no more than an hour, an increase from 59% three years ago.
Conversely, education on certain key topics has seen minor change over the period for many consumers, particularly regarding the advancement and mainstreaming of EV technology.
About 63% of all respondents in 2022 still consider EV owners to be early adopters, which is only 3% lower than over the last three years. While this pioneering connotation may sound complimentary to some, it highlights a need for more mainstream awareness of the accessibility, daily usage, and convenience of electric vehicles today, according to Mini.
Greater visibility for charging stations is needed, though some progress has been made. About 35% of consumers now know where their nearest EV charging port is located, an improvement from 26% in 2019.
While EVs have become more mainstream, brands should continue to demonstrate that these vehicles provide an accessible and satisfying drive for everyone, according to Mini.
Another point requiring stronger evangelization is the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit most EV buyers would receive upon purchasing their new vehicle. Progress has been made among college graduates (particularly in high-income households), with 50% or more now considering the credit as an important purchasing factor, per the survey.
This attitude falls steeply, though, among consumers with little to no college education or who live in lower-income households, where the tax credit could proportionately be more beneficial.
The results are from an online study of 1,016 adults (488 men and 523 women), ages 18 and older conducted from April 1-3.