2018 Smart EQ ForTwo
Last week, AAA told us that they expect that one out of five Americans who are buying a new car in the next five years to buy an electric car.
It's a number that has been creeping up the past few years as AAA surveys American drivers about their attitudes regarding electric cars. Still, with electric cars accounting for less than 1 percent of all car sales in the United States today, getting to 20 percent in the next five years would be exponential growth.
In a statement about its survey, AAA acknowledged that there are barriers for electric car ownership including range anxiety, availability of public charging stations, and charging times.
As these barriers diminish, more Americans say they plan to buy electric the next time around.
We turned to our own Twitter followers, likely including a large group of experienced electric car drivers, to tell us what percentage of Americans they think will buy an electric car for their next car purchase.
AAA says 20 percent of Americans will buy an electric car for their next purchase. What percentage of new car sales do you think will be electric in the next 5 years?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) May 14, 2018
The results were more balanced than others of our recent polls have been, with the largest number of respondents, 37 percent, settling around the idea that a one out of 10 new-car buyers will go electric the next time around.
Another large group, 29 percent, suggested that AAA's number is actually too low, saying that more than one out of five American new car buyers would choose electric. From a group of respondents that includes a large number who have already made that decision, that high number is not so surprising.
About another fifth of our respondents, 19 percent, agreed with AAA and said that 20 percent of new car buyers would choose an electric model in the next five years.
Only 15 percent of our respondents were more pessimistic and said that in five years, electric car sales would only be one out of 50 new cars sold.
As always, remember that our Twitter polls are unscientific because of their small sample size and the fact that respondents are self-selected. Still, it's interesting to note that AAA isn't alone in thinking that a fifth of Americans will buy electric as soon as five years from now.