Study: Younger drivers don't want electric cars

April 24, 2017

Another day, another study showing that drivers are totally into electric cars. Except this time, the study says exactly the opposite. 

Today's study was carried out by the folks at, which helps aspiring motorists study for their written driving exams. Not surprisingly, the site's target demographic skews young--very young. Of the 158,000 responses fielded, 43.5 percent were from folks age 13 to 19. Another 26.9 percent of respondents were between the ages of 20 and 35. 

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Some might be eager to dismiss the study's findings on those facts alone. After all, why should we care what America's younguns think about tomorrow's cars? 

The answer is simple: because they're tomorrow's drivers. That goes double in this group, since it's logical to assume that those using the tests available on are actively preparing to get their driver's licenses. 


The study was designed to gauge future drivers' attitudes toward next-generation technology--specifically, electric cars and self-driving vehicles. Here are the most important bullet points:

Fewer than one-third of respondents were interested in electric vehicles: When respondents were asked whether they'd consider buying an electric car if it were priced comparably to one that ran on gas, a staggering 69.4 percent said no, while just 30.6 percent said yes. The answer varied slightly from younger respondents to older ones, with older folks less likely to be interested in electrics.

Respondents were only mildly concerned about riding in self-driving cars: When asked "On a scale from 0 to 10, how concerned would you be about riding in a self-driving car? (0 = not at all concerned; 10 = extremely concerned)", 23.9 percent responded with a 10. However, 18.8 percent said that they wouldn't be worried at all. Ultimately, the mean response fell around 5.6, or moderately concerned. 

Respondents were divided about the value of autonomous vehicles: When study participants were asked " “On a scale from 0 to 10, will the benefits of self-driving vehicles outweigh their risks and costs? (0 = impossible; 10 = definitely)", the mean answer was almost right up the middle at 4.90.   

Nearly one-fourth of respondents thought Tesla would dominate when it comes to self-driving, electric cars: Clearly, 23.9 percent of respondents had heard of Tesla's efforts in the field of electric, autonomous vehicles, because when asked, they said that Tesla would sell more of those cars over the next 10 years than any other automaker. Toyota came in second, with 19.9 percent of the vote. Interestingly, Ford--which one firm recently dubbed as the front-runner in self-driving tech--only scored top marks with 13.4 percent of respondents.

However, responses to the question varied significantly by age. Teens were more likely to see Tesla as the autonomous car leader, though Ford came in a close second. Those 65 and older were pretty evenly split between Honda and Toyota. 

Want to know more? You can download a PDF of the study here.

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