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One in Five Motorists “Likely” to Buy a Battery Car, Finds New Study

But another survey says U.S. drivers confused about electric vehicle pros and cons.

by on Jan.18, 2011

As many as one in five U.S. motorists would "likely" consider a battery car when it's time to trade in, says a new IBM study.

Conventional wisdom suggests battery power will take a long time to catch on – if ever – barring a huge energy crisis or draconian new federal rules.

Don’t tell that to American car buyers – 20% of whom claim they are “likely” or “very likely” to buy an electric vehicle when it’s time to trade in their current set of wheels, reports IBM’s Institute for Business Value.  The study also finds a full 40% of buyers willing to pay a hefty premium for advanced electric propulsion technology.

Whether those optimistic findings will actually translate into better-than-expected sales remains to be seen, but a second new study, this one by Maritz Automotive Research, threatens to throw some cold water on battery car proponents.  It finds a significant public “knowledge gap” when it comes to electric vehicles and other alternative propulsion systems.

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“Our research indicates that over time consumers see the adoption of electric-power and other alternative power-train vehicles as an imminent reality. Yet today, low consumer familiarity and understanding of alternative fuel vehicles – including both electric only and gasoline-electric hybrids – has a cooling effect on their purchase intent,” said Dave Fish, vice president, Maritz Research.