|Expressed interest in PHEV40 purchases. Click to enlarge.|
According to a new survey from Pike Research, 48% of prospective US consumers would be “extremely” or “very” interested in purchasing a PHEV with a 40-mile range on a single charge (PHEV40), given electricity cost equivalent of $0.75 per gallon, home re-charging, additional charging stations being available around town, and assuming the price and other vehicle features were right.
Of those interested in purchasing a PHEV40, almost half (49%) said they would be willing to pay 5 or 10% more for a PHEV compared to the price of a standard gasoline vehicle; 17% expressed a willingness to pay between 20 and 50% more; just over one-third (34%) said they would not pay a premium at all—a PHEV would have to be the same price as a gasoline vehicle, or they would not purchase one.
|Willingness to pay a premium for PHEV40s among those interested. Click to enlarge.|
Among respondents willing to pay a premium price, the weighted average of that premium was 12% more than the cost of a standard vehicle.
Pike also asked those expressing lack of interest in a PHEV40 their reasons (multiple responses were accepted. The most common reason (45%) was that consumers wanted to wait until the technology is more proven in a few years; 33% said the 40-mile range was insufficient; 29% said they didn’t like the idea of plugging in and that it seemed like it would be too expensive; 28% questioned PHEV reliability; 25% questioned the quality of an electric vehicle.
Other key findings of the survey are as follows:
82% of respondents drive 40 miles or less per day, with an average daily driving distance of 27 miles.
85% of consumers stated that improved fuel efficiency would be an important factor when choosing their next vehicle.
Approximately two-thirds of survey respondents expressed a willingness to pay a premium price for a PHEV, over and above the price of a standard gasoline vehicle. The average premium these consumers were willing to pay was 12% higher than a standard vehicle. The remaining one-third would only purchase a PHEV if it was the same price as a standard gasoline vehicle.
Levels of interest in PHEVs were not dramatically different between demographic categories such as age, gender, income, and level of education. That said, younger consumers are somewhat more likely to demonstrate interest in PHEVs, as are people with higher levels of education.
The “green consumer” behavioral group was significantly more interested in PHEVs than the average respondent in the survey. This group includes self-identified environmentalists and those who regularly purchase organic and environmentally-friendly consumer products.
Among consumers interested in purchasing a PHEV, respondent interest levels were quite strong for upgrading to a residential fast charging outlet which would utilize the same amount of electricity but reduce charging times from five hours to one hour. However, willingness to pay for such fast charging outlets was limited. The great majority of respondents interested in fast charging were willing to pay $250 or less for this upgrade. Pike Research analysis indicates that the first generation of residential fast charging outlets will cost between $500 and $800.
Access to workplace, private, and public electrical charging stations is an important priority for consumers interested in PHEVs. Workplace charging was the most important of these categories, with 79% of survey respondents stating that access at their place of employment would be a priority.
Pike Research’s report, “Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey”, analyzes results from a web-based survey of 1,041 US consumers. The report includes an analysis of consumer demand and willingness to pay for PHEVs and their associated vehicle charging infrastructure. Segmentation analysis includes an examination of demand within different demographic and behavioral groups.
Separately, Pike Research forecasts that PHEV programs will initially focus on the small car segment (80% of sales in 2015), followed closely by the small SUV segment (10% of sales by 2015). By 2015, Pike expects the United States to be the largest market for HEVs and PHEVs, selling 435,484 and 204,110 vehicles, respectively, followed closely by China with 371,198 and 190,125 vehicles.
Pike says that PHEVs are expected to be a subset of the HEV market. Consequently, Pike projects that it is probable that PHEVs will follow a similar sales curve initially, with worldwide sales exceeding half a million vehicles by 2015. Pike Research forecasts that there will be 1.7 million total PHEVs on the roads globally by 2015.