Study Says Over Half Of EV Buyers Aren't Trying To Save The Planet

Electric Vehicles / 13 Comments

It may sound crazy but maybe they just want a trendy car?

Electric vehicles are being pitched as a great way to help reduce emissions and thus save the planet. But is that why people are actually buying them? A recent study conducted on behalf of Swedish automaker Polestar asked 5,086 American drivers their thoughts about EVs. The random double-opt-in survey revealed that 55% of US drivers purchase an EV for reasons other than environmental ones. So that recent study claiming EVs aren't that kind to the planet may not matter much to consumers after all.

"The idea of luxury being defined by what's 'under the hood' has been replaced in the electric era with the prioritization of seamless connectivity, integration into existing digital ecosystems, and good UX design," said Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar North America. "People are switching to electric cars for more than just environmental reasons, and Polestar's focus on in-vehicle technology means they can have everything they want in an environmentally friendly package."


Though the majority of respondents did not cite eco-consciousness as their driving factor for purchasing a new car, the data shows younger buyers factor it more than older ones. 12% of Gen Z respondents (ages 18-24) said image would be their number one factor when choosing an EV like the 2022 Polestar 2. That percentage was twice as high as Millennials (ages 25-41) and three times higher than Boomers (ages 57-74).

Brand image showed a similar breakdown with 57% of Millennials saying they would be confident in a new EV brand like Polestar compared to only 28% of Boomers. Around 46% of all respondents said they'd be open to buying from a start-up brand, a number that's worryingly low for a company like Polestar that's attempting to compete with Porsche.

Aside from their impact to the environment, 48% of those surveyed cited running cost savings and 30% said performance as reasons for considering an EV. That could explain Tesla has seen so much success with its ludicrous 0-60 mph times. More than half of respondents say a lack of chargers was the number one hurdle to overcome before they'd purchase an EV but three out of five say they've noticed more stations in their local town or city.

Finally, a sizable 40% said the ease of switching to a new infotainment system was important to switch to an EV. Polestar's Google-powered user interface is pretty easy to use and features great trip planning, which may help the brand convince more buyers to go all electric.

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