Maybe Tesla is right about electric cars after all. As they say, you cannot argue with numbers. This is specifically true after a new survey finding demonstrates that California drivers are more than keen on driving clean cars. More than 50% of the respondents have shown interest in considering an electric vehicle (EV) in their next lease or purchase. In addition, more than 65% of the people who took part in the survey also expressed their growing interest in using electric vehicles. The survey was conducted by the advocacy and policy arm of the Consumer reports namely the Consumer Union ad the Union of Concerned Scientist.
There were 1,213 respondents who answered questions prepared by the two groups. The respondents were all randomly selected in California and nine other Northeast states. They were all licensed drivers in the state. The survey was carried out from April 1st to 8th and bearing a 4% margin of error. Bearing a 98% confidence level, the finding of the survey speaks highly of the changing preference of the California drivers. Based on the survey’s finding, about 44% of the households in California could utilize an electric car without any abrupt change in their vehicle needs or driving habits. More surprisingly, the respondents were able to meet the criteria for utilizing plug-in electric vehicles that are currently available on the market.
The Influence of Electric Cars in the Automobile Industry in California
Based on the research, it was clear that there is an existing raw market opportunity of automobile manufacturers to offer an array of electric vehicles in the state of California. The study proves that millions of the California-based consumers are now all prepared to give electricity-powered cars a chance. Furthermore, Consumer Union’s policy counsel, Shannon Baker-Branstetter, also revealed that the blend of automobile culture, the environmental consciousness, and the technology incubation of California makes it a great potential for EA growth.
Another interesting forecast is made by USC Clean Vehicle Program’s Research and Deputy Director Don Anair. According to Annair, the result of the survey should pose an imminent surge in the sale of electric vehicles. The whopping percentage of those who are willing to give EA a should be one big encouraging news to those automakers who are now shifting to clean vehicles. This would likewise prompt for drivers and car buyers to check what EA has to offer. Annair added that those California-based consumers who intend to search for a new car this coming summer may be ready to purchase their first electric vehicle.
The changing preference of California Drivers
At present , only about 3% of the new cars on the market is accounted for plug-in electricity-powered vehicles. The models are still somewhat limited with only a total of 20 from different automakers. However, based on the finding of the survey, manufacturers may be able to convert such immense interest into sales. Another interesting facet of the survey is that 65% of the randomly selected respondents are interested to see a wider range of options on electrical vehicles. These include minivans, different classes of cars, SUV;s, and sedans. Half of this 65% of believed that each automobile manufacturer should already offer their own signature plug-in models.
The availability of test drive options is also paramount in EV sales. In addition to having broader choices in terms of the models, the majority of the respondents also pointed out that one of the criteria in buying a plug-in car is a test drive. Test driving is particularly important as it is one of the crucial ways for drivers to have a first-hand understanding as to why electric vehicles garner the highest scores in ownership satisfaction as per Consumer Report’s Ratings. The current top 3 are the Tesla Model Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. These models have earned 97%, 82%, and 76% satisfaction score respectively. With the new models being released in 2016 and 2017, it is expected to see other models achieving the same rating in the near future.
Revisiting the Electric Vehicle Incentives in California
One of the biggest setbacks that many people tend to experience is the price. On the other hand, many drivers are also ill-informed on certain incentive programs that they can avail of. State officials of California and the automobile manufacturing giants can also exert an extra effort in disseminating information about the existing incentive programs on EV purchase. About 75% of those people licensed to drive in California are not aware of such incentive program offered by the State in purchasing any electric vehicle. Moreover, about 80% of the drivers were not informed about the existing federal tax credit for purchasing an EV. With these two incentive programs, a consumer may benefit from a lowered price by as much as $10,000.
Based on the said survey, 13% of them identified cost as the primary reason as to why they may possibly put off purchasing an EA. This means that educating the consumers on how they can lower down the cost could earn manufacturers more potential buyers of electric cars from this year on. Specific incentive per zip code can be checked via the website of the driveclean.ca.gov . Other programs such as the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program and the Clean Air Vehicle Decal are the first ones that a potential buyer may avail. Note that there are specific models that are qualified for the program. It is highly recommended that buyers check the website of the car manufacturer to be sure.
There are different examples of incentive programs available in California. For instance, in the Clean Vehicle Rebate program, the rebate check is to be mailed to the applicant within just 90 days from the date of approval. This rebate is sent on a one-time, first-come, first-served basis. Vehicles that are either purchased or leased can qualify. The status of the rebate can be checked directly on the Clean Vehicle Rebate website. Another incentive program is the Federal Tax Credit. To avail this, the consumer is advised to consult with a tax professional. The California HOV Lane Access offers consumers a chance to send their applications for decals, but only when the car has already registered and has its own license plate.
Drivers Ready to Contribute to California Clean Air Program
The keen interest and the growing awareness of electricity-powered vehicles are a clear indication that many drivers are now ready to plunge into the Clean Air Program of the state. The Program was established to counteract the adverse effects of emissions and global warming. According to scientists, there is a need for consumers to cut their emissions by as much as 20% when 2020 comes. Moreover, it would likewise be necessary to drastically reduce the emission by 80% on 2050. This is to stave off the extreme aftermaths of global warming. As cars are also considered the number 1 source of smog-producing pollutants, it has been linked to 5000 deaths every year in California. To combat this, the California’s Clean Cars Waiver under the Federal Clean Air Act was implemented.
What exactly is California’s Clean Cars Waiver?
In a nutshell, the waiver is an authorization provided but the US EPA to California in order to let the latter adopt its own regulations on the use of clean cars or electric cars. To comply with the regulation, automobile manufacturers may choose to make use of combined technologies that will ensure a reduction in emission across their fleet. Aside from California, there are 13 other states that are required to implement the same clean car regulation. Drivers in Arizona, Oregon, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, DC, and Maine will also benefit from this regulation. Ultimately,the drivers and upcoming car owners who intend to make use of clean cars will likewise benefit from this in the long run.