Electric cars are finally starting to hit something akin to critical mass thanks to a wave of early adopters not afraid to plunk down their hard-earned dollars followed by a second wave of early buyers. But who are these people, and what is driving them to buy electric cars in larger and larger numbers?
TrueCar.com gathered data from EV buyers to find out who they are, and what motivates them to make the plug-in plunge. The study found that, compared to the buyer of conventional versions of the same vehicle, EV buyers were younger, richer, and generally just hunting for the best deal that they could find.
The study cited buyers of the Ford Focus as a prime example, with the conventional Focus buyer being about 46 years old, with an annual household income of about $77,000. A Focus Electric buyer, however, was on average about 43 years old with a household income of about $199,000. While just half of conventional Focus buyers bought the car because of rebates or price, 82% of Focus Electric buyers bought the EV because they thought it was a good deal.
Buyers of the Fiat 500 and 500e were similarly divided. A regular 500 buyer has a household income of $73,000, while a 500e family brings in on average about $145,000 and an average age two years younger than the regular 500 buyer.
The findings in this study are similar to what you would expect from the early adopter of an expensive (up front) and new technology. Yet another study found that, as a whole, Millennials aren’t all that interested in electric vehicles, but I imagine that will change as electric cars come down in price and go up in range and capability.