The LEAF will go on sale in the U.S., Europe and Japan late next year
These are among the findings of a new randomized telephone poll of car-owning households conducted recently by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.
One of the most shocking findings of the survey is that more than a quarter of adult respondents said that they would consider an EV, and seven percent said they were very likely to consider one. That's surprising as true mass-production EVs haven't yet arrived.
It's especially worth noting that opinions about vehicles that plug in are more polarizing than most car-shopping priorities. Of those polled, 72 percent were decidedly anti-electric, saying that they would be unlikely to even contemplate an EV purchase. But 63 percent agreed that they'd be more likely to buy an EV if their place of employment offered charging stations.
Among other interesting findings: men have higher range expectations than women, and lower-income consumers expect more range out of EVs. Consumer Reports found that ideally, those polled would like a range of 89 miles (median), though men expected 106 miles and those with lower household income, under $50,000, expected 102 miles.
But again showing how polarized and all over the place consumers are with EV expectations, CR notes, 45 percent replied that they'd be fine with a range of less than 75 miles and 29 percent even thought less than 49 miles was okay. Meanwhile another 29 percent said that they require a daily range of at least 200 miles.
2010 Tesla Roadster Sport
2011 Chevrolet Volt
Automakers might have more of a hurdle with pricing. Those who said that they would consider an electric car would pay a median $2,068 extra versus a standard vehicle—but that group was made up of roughly a fifth saying that they would pay more than $5,000 extra—and a fifth who wouldn't pay any extra.
Visit our companion site Green Car Reports for more information on these vehicles, along with updates on other plug-in and electric-car offerings, issues, and future models.