About one in seven American drivers say their next new vehicle purchase will be a pickup. There’s nothing surprising in that statement, right? I mean trucks are the best-selling vehicles in America. We can’t get enough of the big, powerful, fuel-draining mega-machines.
So would it surprise you to learn that the same number of people say the next new vehicle they’ll take home will be electric?
True story, folks. Sales of electric cars are surging like the power coming back on after a lightning storm.
A new study by AAA says that more than 30 million Americans are likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next car. The agency credits rising sales, longer ranges, and lower costs for the sudden growth and foresees a strong future for electric cars.
People planning to go electric say concern for the environment is a driving force behind their decision, but there are also more selfish reasons including tax breaks and access to carpool lanes.
This news comes as gas prices remain fairly low, as much as 40 percent lower than they were just five years ago. This is good news for EV advocates and automakers because demand should only rise if gas prices go back up.
Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering, said,
With their lower ownership costs and compatibility with emerging autonomous technologies, electric vehicles are poised to be a key vehicle of the future. Tesla — a standout in AAA’s evaluations — has helped widen the appeal of electric vehicles by showing they can be stylish, performance-focused and filled with cutting-edge technology.
Speaking of Tesla, CEO Elon Musk says his company will show a pickup concept sometime in the next two years. If that happens, we could potentially write a story one day about the best-selling vehicle in America being an electric truck that doesn’t have a Ford logo on the grille.
Tesla isn’t bulletproof, of course. Consumer Reports recently lowered its ratings of the Tesla Model S and Model X due to their lack of an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system. Musk says the company is fine-tuning the software, which should be enabled as early as this week. Regardless, the consumer-focused magazine was apparently fed-up with the wait and took away the automaker’s top ratings spot.
We expect the rating to go back up once all Tesla vehicles come standard with AEB.
The popularity of EVs may have reached the tipping point. If those 30 million people who say they’ll buy electric cars actually do so, we’ll have an honest-to-goodness automotive revolution on our hands.
Will you be one of the 30 million people whose next car purchase will be electric?