Most Americans remain outside the market of likely buyers and users of fully electric cars, according to a new national survey by ScottRasmussen.com.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of American have never even ridden in a fully electric car, while only 12% say it’s very likely they will own such a car someday.
When asked which kind of car they would buy if they had to make a choice today between a fully electric car and a traditional gas powered car, 60% of voters say they would choose a traditional gas powered car compared to 16% who say they’d choose an electric car. Twenty-four percent (24%) say they would choose whichever car costs less to buy and drive.
These overall attitudes about electric cars hold up for most demographic groups, but younger Americans are more likely to embrace the idea. Twenty-two percent (22%) of voters aged 18-to-34 say it’s very likely they will someday own an electric car and 29% say they would choose an electric car over a traditionally gas powered car to buy today (see crosstab results).
When compared to self-driving cars, voters are split over which technology will have a bigger impact in the future. Forty-one percent (41%) of Americans say electric cars will have a bigger impact while 40% say it will be self-driving cars. Data released earlier shows Americans embrace most new technologies but remain wary of self-driving cars.
Most news and general media coverage of the electric car industry tends to center around Tesla, the company run and founded by Elon Musk. While Musk remains an almost daily fixture in financial and tech news, the survey found that 50% of Americans have still either not heard of him or have no opinion of him. Thirty-eight percent (38%) have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Musk with 12% seeing him very favorably. Only 5% have a very unfavorable view of him.
Musk and Tesla are currently in the middle of a major struggle to produce and deliver adequate numbers of the company’s new lower-cost Model 3 to meet demand.
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This national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted January 13-14, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).