Buyers Choose EVs For Environment More Than Fuel Savings

A new J.D. Power study has revealed buyers choose EVs more for environmental reasons.

The 2014 U.S. Avoider Study released yesterday also revealed 38 percent of those buying domestic vehicles cite the latest technology features as a reason for their purchase, compared with 33 percent of import vehicle buyers.

Additionally, the study found domestic vehicle buyers who previously owned an import model are even more likely to purchase a domestic model due to its new technology and features (40 percent).

“Domestic brands in general are carving out a niche for themselves by offering vehicles with the latest technological features, and it appears to be getting the attention of consumers,” said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power. “It’s important for automakers to understand what motivates new-vehicle buyers to shop and purchase a particular model and focus on promoting those top purchase influencers to differentiate themselves and gain market share.”

The following are key findings of the study:

  • Among both import and domestic new-vehicle buyers, latest technology is among the top 10 purchase reasons indicated at the industry level.
  • For a third consecutive year, gas mileage continues to be the most influential purchase reason at the industry level (15 percent) and is the second-most-frequently cited reason for rejecting a vehicle, behind price.
  • Exterior styling remains the most influential reason for new-vehicle buyers to avoid shopping other models in the segment in which they purchased (33 percent).
  • Slightly more than eight in 10 (81 percent) new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet for automotive shopping cite accessing online ratings and reviews prior to purchasing their vehicle. Fifteen percent of new-vehicle buyers cite online ratings and reviews as a reason they avoided a specific vehicle, up 4 percentage points from 2010.
  • Among new-vehicle buyers who purchased an electric vehicle, more buyers say that they did so due to environmental concerns (32 percent) than gas mileage (29 percent).