Why consumers still aren’t embracing electric vehicles or autonomous driving technololgy

J.D. Power’s 2020 Q3 Mobility Confidence Index found that North American vehicle owners have not changed their opinions on battery-electric vehicles or self-driving technologies.

The study, fueled by SurveyMonkey and released Tuesday, said “consumers remain skeptical because of their lack of firsthand experience with these technologies and lack of education about how and why these technologies work.”

Despite minimal changes in consumer views, automakers continue to invest in electrification and self-driving technology, the study found.

“Right now, there are about 50 battery-electric vehicle models scheduled for a U.S. debut by the end of 2022,” Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface research at J.D. Power, said in the study.

“In that same two-year period, only 13 percent of the consumers we polled expect to buy one while 30 percent stated they have no intention to ever consider buying one.”

In the longer term, there are nearly 100 EVs coming to the U.S. through 2024, as Automotive News reported this month.

Still, more than two-thirds of U.S. and Canadian consumers surveyed said “they have never been in a battery-electric vehicle” and “know nothing at all about them.” Of the American consumers who have never been in an electric vehicle, 62 percent have very low likelihood to purchase or lease one, according to the study.

U.S. consumers also expressed a desire for battery-electric vehicles to have a greater range, but 45 percent of U.S. respondents don’t have the patience to wait more than 15 minutes for a charge.

“Automakers need to figure out a way to get people into these types of vehicles to increase consideration,” Kolodge said.

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