Most EV Owners Will Stick With Electric For Next Vehicle

More than 90 percent of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners say their next car will also have an electrified powertrain, according to a new survey.

The study – conducted by PlugInsights on behalf of Ford Motor Company – surveyed 10,000 battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) owners. Ford said it commissioned the study in part to find out if consumers were happy with owning an electrified vehicle (EV).

The answer was a resounding “yes.”

“Ninety two percent of BEV owners and 94 percent of PHEV owners plan to buy another EV in the future,” reported CleanTechnica. Ford didn’t release the entire study, preferring instead to keep some cards close to its chest. But the company’s manager of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Technology, Stephanie Janczak, revealed a few details in a CleanTechnica interview.

For their next vehicle, Janczak said most owners plan specifically to buy a BEV. Even though both categories shared this answer, the survey indicated that current BEV and PHEV owners have different priorities driving their choice.

For BEV owners, global warming and reducing their carbon footprint are high priorities, making this zero-emission technology optimal. Though current PHEV owners may also be looking greener transportation, the ability to save money with increased fuel efficiency is a top priority.

These reasons explain why the majority of EV owners will pick a BEV over a PHEV for their next car: the PHEV doesn’t provide an added environmental advantage, but the BEV can save the owner more money over the long run. Janczak also noted that a BEV’s “instant power” was a hit for both groups.

Another detail released by Ford is that more than 90 percent of the EV owners surveyed also owned another car, which was most often powered by gasoline only. The findings suggest that when automakers can offer batteries with a much longer range, owners will be more likely to trade in this second car for an EV as well.

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Ford’s study follows up on a similar report released by PlugInsights last year. In the 2014 study of 900 EV owners, 96.9 percent said their next vehicle would be a BEV or PHEV.

“The category is still quite young, with the modern era starting in December 2010 with the intro of the [Nissan] Leaf and the [Chevrolet] Volt,” said Norman Hajjar, managing director at PlugInsights Research, of BEVs and PHEVs. “But some rather seismic ‘age-related’ events are waiting in the wings for this category.”

Included is these “age-related events” are the thousands of EVs currently on the road that will soon be returned to dealers when their lease is over.