From a brand new CleanTechnica report, we have some insight into which electric vehicles (EVs) current EV owners are most likely to buy next*.
For the new report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams (2019), we collected extensive survey data from nearly 10,000 EV owners in the USA, Canada, and Europe. This report focuses on findings from the USA, Canada, and the UK, while coming reports will focus on findings from Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Norway.
Below is one portion from the new report. You can buy the full report here or check out a 14-page preview here. The report was kindly sponsored by CATL** and Volta**, which helped us to collect a large number of surveys in a variety of targeted ways in specific countries and regions.
*Note that the surveys for this report were conducted before the Tesla Cybertruck was shown to the world in all its glory.
The Electric Cars People Plan to Buy Next
Probably the most interesting question we ask year after year is one of the simplest: “What do you think your next EV model will be?” It is particularly interesting because it gives us a strong sense of where the market is headed, and combined with answers to some other questions (see the next chapter), it also tells us a bit about what features and specs matter the most to EV buyers.
As in previous surveys, for almost every population group, the #1 response was the Tesla Model 3. However, the Tesla Model Y has surged into a close race with its older Model 3 sibling, and it was the dominant response among Tesla owners (most of whom already owned a Model 3). The Model Y also won the #1 position for that question among general-population EV owners, again seemingly because the largest portion of those people already had the Tesla Model 3. Other popular models, depending on the region and group, were the Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV, Chevy Bolt, and Renault Zoe.
Also, as in previous years, buyers in specific EV groups were more likely to stick to that group than buyers from other EV groups. Put more simply, Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF owners were more likely than Tesla owners to buy a Bolt or LEAF as their next EV, and Tesla owners were more likely than plugin hybrid buyers to buy a Tesla next — as just two examples of this general pattern.
Overall, you can see that responses regarding which electric vehicles people would buy next were similar across the different countries, and somewhat different across the different EV ownership groups — but not that different. The largest portion of respondents in each group expected to next buy the Tesla Model 3 or Tesla Model Y.
Perhaps we should have started this chapter, though, with whether or not EV drivers will buy another EV. The answer is expected: of course they will, most of them at least. Tesla and other pure EV drivers were far more likely to say that their next vehicle would be a fully electric vehicle, with figures always above 90%, and in several cases above 95%. Plug-in hybrid drivers were typically in the 75–80% range.
Simply asking about preferred brand for their next EV, Tesla drivers almost uniformly expected to get another Tesla, whereas non-Tesla pure-EV drivers and PHEV drivers were quite varied in their brand of choice.
Asked about how much respondents expected their next EV to cost, American and Canadian answers from non-Tesla EV drivers (pure EV drivers and PHEV drivers) fell in a rather perfect bell curve, with the peak in the $30,000–40,000 price range, the same as with the market as a whole. Tesla drivers, as assumed, expected to spend more money, a full 84% selecting one of the higher price ranges.
**While CATL and Volta generously sponsored this report, they did not have any influence over what was written in the report. Here’s a bit more about these two EV-related companies:
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (“CATL”) is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of lithium-ion power and energy storage batteries, with businesses covering R&D, manufacturing and sales in battery systems for new energy vehicles and energy storage systems. In 2018, the company’s sales reached 21.31 GWh worldwide, which was leading in the world (according to SNE Research).
Founded in 2010 out of a passion for advancing transportation, Volta has mastered the art and science of developing cutting-edge electric vehicle charging networks. Volta is accelerating the electric vehicle movement by providing seamless, simple, and free charging experiences. Thoughtfully located along the paths of our busy lives, Volta chargers are the most used in the industry. With the support of forward-thinking brand partners, Volta delivers free charging solutions to real estate owners, power to the electric vehicle community, and impactful brand stories to everyone.