Behavioral economist’s Dan Ariely’s view on what will nudge more consumers to buy electric vehicles dovetails with GE’s own quantitative look at buying habits. Over the summer, a third-party research firm working with GE asked just over 1,000 consumers to share their thoughts on EVs. About half of the sample were drivers with gas-powered cars, the other half currently drive a hybrid or EV.
The survey found that drivers have three key needs when it comes to considering an EV purchase.
The “Environmentally Conscious” respondents see EVs as symbolizing their commitment to the planet, sustainability, and fossil fuel independence.
The “Technology and Car Driven” consumers make a different statement. Environmental benefits aside, they see the technology as simply “cool” — representing cutting edge innovation that puts them ahead of the pack. In tech circles, they’re known as “early adopters.”
“Frugal Travelers” rounded out the group, with EVs seen as a way to permanently reduce their travel costs — with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.
As for those that are ready to buy an EV, a recent Deloitte study found the top three considerations when purchasing an EV are vehicle price, reliability and cost to charge.
Although charging costs can vary based on the electrical grid infrastructure, GE estimates a full charge for a 24 kWh battery using its new WattStation charger will cost approximately $3.50 – $4.00, based on average electricity rates.And smart grid time-of-use pricing programs will allow customers to charge their vehicle at an even more efficient rate.