Two surveys are showing automakers have real challenges ahead in getting consumers to see the benefits of purchasing plug-in electric and self-driving vehicles.
Harris has surveyed 1,052 U.S. residents to find that 67 percent of them didn’t know anyone who owned an all-electric, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid-electric vehicle. Lack of knowledge over how the technologies work is a factor, with about 76 percent of respondents saying they were “not at all sure” how far a plug-in hybrid car could drive on a single refueling and recharging.
When asked for their estimate on total range plug-in hybrids can travel on both gasoline engines and electric power, it averaged out to 260.8 miles in the study. That’s less than half the actual total range of most plug-in hybrids on the market. The survey showed more affluent consumers and city dwellers were more familiar with all-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.
Ford commissioned the study with Harris. The automaker says it will be investing $4.5 billion over the next several years to expand its lineup of plug-in hybrid, all-electric and hybrid models.
In another survey report released this week, a poll conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers/ICM Unlimited in the U.K. found lackluster support for self-driving cars. The survey of 2,002 respondents in Great Britain found that 55 percent were unlikely to want to be a passenger in a driverless car.
The findings in the Great Britain study were similar to a study released earlier this week by University of Michigan researcher Michael Sivak. In that study, more than half of U.S. residents surveyed said they’d rather drive themselves than turn over their car to an automated system.