A new survey from AAA released last week reported that 20 percent of Americans say they plan to buy an electric car the next time they purchase a new car.
That contrasts sharply with the less than one percent of Americans who buy electric cars today.
It's not clear were the discrepancy lies, whether in range improvements for the latest electric cars, consumers who actually intend to buy electric but then can't find a model or a deal they like when they actually get to a showroom, survey error, or some other factor.
AAA said it sees growing demand every year for electric cars in its survey, and that this is especially true now that the latest models have longer ranges and the latest advanced safety features.
The AAA survey cited decreasing range anxiety and higher reliability as primary reasons that more drivers are planning to buy electric cars. Respondents also reported high interest in the latest advanced safety features, which the latest electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 offer.
Among drivers who said they would not buy an electric car, lack of public charging stations was one of the main motivating factors.
AAA says 20 percent of Americans will buy an electric car for their next purchase. How many percent of new car sales do you think will be electric in the next 5 years?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) May 14, 2018
"America’s appetite for electric vehicles is getting stronger every year,” said Tom Ashley, AAA East Central executive vice president. “Whether it’s concerns for the environment, attraction to lower long-term costs or advanced technology, more and more auto buyers are finding reasons to go electric.”
Given the current disconnect between the number of people who tell AAA they plan to buy an electric car, and the number of people who actually buy an electric car, we thought it would be useful to ask our own Twitter followers. We asked our followers what percentage of Americans they think will actually buy electric cars in the next five years—not if they plan to buy one themselves. (Five years is the average ownership cycle for a new car, so on average the next 5 years encompasses the majority of people who buy new cars, including those who have just bought one.)
To tell us what you think, click on over to our Twitter poll.
As always, remember that our Twitter polls are unscientific because of the self-selection of the respondents and the low sample size.