If you think you’ve been seeing more plug-in cars on the road or hybrid vehicles in the carpool lane lately, you are not imagining it. A recent Deloitte report found that high fuel prices, combined with lower maintenance costs, has EV interest poised for continued growth among U.S. consumers.
Hankook Tire’s latest Gauge Index took a closer look at what’s driving interest in EV and hybrid vehicles:
1. Gas prices play a big part.
Perhaps it is the obvious answer, but the high prices at the pump are among the biggest incentives for those looking to make the switch from a traditional gas-powered or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle to a hybrid or EV. According to the Gauge, most Americans (51%) find spending less money on gas as the most appealing benefit of EVs.
2. Environmental concerns are rising.
Other drivers are more environmentally minded in their decisions: nearly a quarter (24%) say the environmental impact of an EV is the most appealing reason for them to switch. According to the EPA, electric vehicles typically have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars, even when accounting for the electricity required to charge them.
3. EVs can go the distance.
Technology advancements have given EVs a leg up when it comes to distance — though many drivers (51%) still underestimate how far one can travel on a full charge. On average, an EV can go about 250 miles on a single charge. And considering the average household travels approximately 50 miles on a typical day, according to the Federal highway Administration’s latest National Household Travel Survey, that makes EVs a strong option for most.
4. Maintenance matters for many.
There are specific maintenance considerations for EVs, but the benefit for many is that maintenance typically costs less than for an ICE vehicle — up to 30% lower!
However, Hankook found that many drivers will need to brush up on what those particular maintenance considerations are before they make the switch — only 29% know that EVs have different maintenance requirements to their gas-powered counterparts. Similarly, only 22% of drivers know that if you are aiming for optimum performance, EVs should use tires designed specifically for EVs. (On the bright side, 82% are aware that there is a difference between a hybrid and an EV.)
5. EVs offer plenty of options.
The growing popularity of EVs also leads to growing options — whether you prefer to drive a sedan, coupe, SUV or light truck, there’s an EV option for you. The EPA notes that there are currently more than 50 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle models on the market, with vehicle class options likely to continue expanding in coming years. So for those seeking alternate options, there are plenty to go with!
And here’s a fun fact for those considering a personalized license plate for their EV — Hankook found the two most popular vanity plates for EVs are CHARGEME (26%) and OUTOFGAS (24%).
With all of the benefits that EVs and hybrids offer for those seeking to lower costs and their overall environmental footprint, it’s no wonder that the Gauge found 60% of drivers either currently own or lease a hybrid or EV, or plan to in the future.