Illustration for article titled Most Americans Say Electric Cars Are the Future, According to Volvos Research
Photo: Volvo

Nearly three-quarters of Americans think the future of cars is electric, according to a new study commissioned by Volvo, the Swedish automaker. Does that number seem high? It does! But maybe also realistic.


The study was conducted by The Harris Poll, which FiveThirtyEight rates as a C+ when it comes to pollsters and thus not totally horseshit but maybe not an almighty arbiter of truth either. The study found that 74 percent of the 1,510 drivers surveyed said that electric cars are the future, while 59 percent of them said that electric cars were good for the environment.

This report indicates a number of positive experiences drivers associate with EVs, specifically as they pertain to monetary benefits and environmental impacts. For example:

74 percent of EV drivers state the long-term savings on gas outweigh the higher price-tag of buying an EV

59 percent of all drivers feel driving an EV has a positive environmental impact, more so than:

  • Recycling (49%)
  • Switching to paperless billing (48%)
  • Utilizing smart home technology to regulate energy in their home (44%)

Charging, however, remains a sticking point, and poorly implemented overall. It’s not surprising that, for example, that a huge plurality of people would pay more money just to charge the damn thing faster:

More than one-third (36%) say the experience of using public charging stations is time-consuming

EV drivers want upgrades to public charging stations, including:

  • Option to pay more for a quicker charge (48%)
  • Onsite coffee shop or café with Wi-Fi (42%)
  • Easily accessible gym or fitness facility (32%)
  • A gamified rewards system that incentivizes their return (27%)
  • Maintenance services (26%)

Volvo has said that half of its lineup will be electric by 2025, an ambitious goal, since it currently doesn’t produce any fully-electric cars, though it does produce some plug-in hybrids, like certain versions of the XC90, XC60, and S60. I can see Volvo’s business case for publishing a study like this—it certainly helps their future business if American consumers get better used to the idea of going electric—but I also think the numbers are plainly true.


Even the biggest petrolhead has to admit that, in 30 years, internal combustion engine cars could be like records, still around, sure, but basically for the enthusiasts, who will forever insist that, yes, they still sound amazing.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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