24,227 Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz owners in the UK were asked in an online survey about their perspective on electric cars, and nearly 40% indicated they had some interest in buying one or would consider it. Their main condition was that an EV they would want would have to be able to go 300 miles on one charge.
Tesla Model S
It’s hard to say if 300 miles per charge is their standard because the Tesla Model S is capable of this kind of range, or if it is for some other reason. The Model S has set the standard for electric cars because of its larger range, speed, styling and safety, so it is no surprise that such a large contingent of luxury car owners would be interested in it or something similar.
It also is heartening that such a large number of people seem to be factoring the environment into their consumer spending choices. Of course, Tesla did the clever thing by making sporty, stylish electric cars that are fun to drive, rather than the typical EV which could be dismissed as better for the environment, but unattractive and slow.
The WeLoveAnyCar research also showed about half of their respondents that are BMW owners expressed an interest in electric cars. This fact may bode well for BMW’s electric car, the i3, which is both stylish and reportedly fun to drive. However, it falls well short of the 300 mile range the respondents mentioned so its hard to tell what their interest level is in it. The i3 is a hybrid so it doesn’t qualify as an electric car.
The Cadillac ELR is a luxury coupe costing about $75,000, but it too is a hybrid. Anyone interested in this type of vehicle might as well go with the Model S and not have to pay for any gas. Also, GM made the EV-1 years ago, and many people liked it, but GM ended the life of that all-electric car. If they had at least nursed it along, and tried building a sedan, by now they might have created something to rival the Model S.
Most UK luxury car owners may prefer an European vehicle anyway, but the Model S might just prove superior in driveability, even to the BMW i8.The winning solution is missing: a European-made all-electric sedan providing a combination of luxury and performance.
The funny thing is, that after Tesla released its patents, it might be possible for a European manufacturer to create just such a vehicle using their own assembly lines and factories.
Momentum for electric cars?
At least, we see from the research that some luxury car owners are not permanently wedded to fossil fuels and that someone took the time to ask them what they want. Electric cars seem to be more popular lately, mainly because of the success of the Tesla Model S and possibly Tesla’s release of their patents to other manufacturers.