May 8 (UPI) — About 50 million American motorists will look to make their next vehicle completely electric, AAA said in a report Tuesday.
The transportation organization said one in five U.S. drivers said they want to go electric for their next car — up 5 percent from a year ago.
“Today, electric vehicles have mainstream appeal,” Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering, said. “While concern for the environment is still a major motivator, AAA found U.S. drivers are also attracted to the lower long-term costs and advanced technology features that many of these vehicles offer.”
One reason for the interest in electric vehicles could be less “range anxiety,” concern about running out of power before a driver can recharge.
Sixty-three percent said they are unsure or unwilling to consider an electric vehicle for their next purchase, down 9 percent from last year.
Range anxiety is less of a concern among millennials than older Americans, AAA said.
The abundance of charging stations has grown this year to more than 16,000 in the United States. However, the expectation for charging time may not align with reality, as seven-in-ten said a charge time of 30 minutes or less is reasonable.
“Today’s drivers are accustomed to a quick fill up at the corner gas station, but electric vehicle charging can sometimes take several hours,” Brannon said. “With a little planning, electric vehicle owners can avoid a roadside inconvenience and, as technology improves, charging times will too.”
AAA gave its overall Top Green Vehicle award to Tesla’s electric Model X 75D.