The S-Curve Indicator: Week of January 21, 2013

This week’s indicator is 40 percent, which is roughly the percentage of Americans who say they are “not likely at all” to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle (EV), according to a study by Indiana University.  This was the lowest level of interest available for selection. Vehicle price and range were cited as the main barriers.

The study was hailed as bad news for the industry: “People not interested in EVs,” proclaimed Green Tech Media. There are some caveats to this assessment. First, the survey occurred a year ago, before many EV models were available. Second, the survey uncovered pockets of relatively high interest in areas like San Jose/San Francisco and Chicago, which may point to focus areas for EV deployment. However, the study underscores how important it is for industry not to fall victim to its own hype. Getting consumers comfortable with EVs, and ensuring that the appropriate infrastructure and pricing plans are in place, are still major hurdles to mass deployment.

Likelihood of plug-in EV purchase, distribution of respondents

Note: 1 is not at all likely and 10 is highly likely; Source: Indiana University

This is an entry in our series, The S-Curve Indicator, where we highlight a number that’s impacting the world of sustainability.