Gallup Polls Electric Cars

by Greg Pollowitz

And finds Americans don’t want one, whatever the price of gas:

Electric Cars Not an Attractive Option to Many Americans

Americans are less likely to say they would buy an electric car than they are to say they would buy a more fuel-efficient one if gas prices rise to the $5-per-gallon range. Just 12% say at that price, they would be willing to buy such a car that they could drive only a limited number of miles at one time. Another 10% would make such a purchase if gas prices are in the $6- to $7.99-per-gallon range and another 9% if gas prices reach $8 to $10 per gallon. Still, 57% say they would not buy such an electric car no matter the price of gas.

High-income Americans are about twice as likely as those with low incomes to say they would purchase an electric car if gas prices rose to the $5 range. Otherwise, no matter whether respondents view higher prices as temporary or permanent, or the degree of financial hardship high gas prices are causing them, electric cars are equally unpopular as a response to high gas prices.

Chevy Volt, thy name is Edsel.

The poll also finds that Americans are more likely to cut back on other aspects of their lifestyle than to reduce the carbon footprint of their car:

Americans are now predicting that pump prices will reach $4.52 a gallon this year. Even with such price expectations, most Americans seem unwilling and/or unable to significantly change their overall lifestyles — making relatively minor behavioral changes instead. More importantly, most Americans suggest this will continue to be the case even if gas prices stay high and go higher, seemingly validating the carbon-based nature of the U.S. economy. Instead, it seems Americans will cut back in other areas by spending less — not good news for the nation’s retailers, small businesses, or the future course of the U.S. economy.