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JD Power Finds Americans Lack Confidence in EVs and Autonomous Vehicles

JD Power Finds Americans Lack Confidence in EVs and Autonomous Vehicles

In a recent press release, J.D. Power (I guess he ditched his associates) revealed that consumers in the United States are not so sure about the future of self-driving vehicles or all-electric vehicles (EVs). According to the J.D. Power 2019 Mobility Confidence Index Study, only 36% of consumers think autonomous vehicle technology will be viable. That number is higher for EV technology at 55%.

When considering self-driving vehicles, the survey noted that 39% of respondents weren’t excited at all for autonomous vehicle technology. This includes the possibility of autonomous vehicles in public transport, taxis and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and various delivery services as well as personally owned vehicles. The majority of concerns stem from worries about technology failures and the possibility of self-driving cars being hacked. Respondents were also concerned about liability issues that would arise after accidents.

As with any new technology, there is a generational divide at play. 52% of Generation Z and 45% of Generation Y respondents believe that self-driving vehicle technology will improve traffic safety, while 49% of Baby Boomers think it will make it worse.

With regard to EV technology, 61% of respondents stated that they believed EVs were better for the environment and 48% believe that the cost of charging beats the cost of paying for gas. Unfortunately, 64% of participants had major concerns about the lack of charging stations and 59% had concerns about EV battery range. In what can only be blamed on the relatively quick refueling time we are accustomed to with our gas-powered cars, 74% of respondents said they would not wait for more than 30 minutes for their vehicle to charge.

The survey also showed that participants who have owned or leased an EV are much more likely to do so again in the future, with 75% responding in the affirmative. Only 40% of non-EV owners said they would consider purchasing one. 78% of all respondents said that tax credits and other perks such as access to carpool/HOV lanes would factor into their decision when the time came to purchase.

J.D. Power’s survey is interesting, especially when juxtaposed with various automakers’ visions of what the future holds for autonomous and/or electric-car technology. Famous Telsa CEO Elon Musk announced earlier this year that he plans to turn Telsa into a company that not only manufactures cars, but operates a fleet of autonomous robo-taxis. General Motors’ Cruise Automation has also been working on a fleet of self-driving taxis, which was set to begin operation in 2019 but has since been postponed.

5,270 Americans were surveyed using Survey Monkey’s online method. J.D. Power also surveyed experts about autonomous vehicle technology. Experts predicted that self-driving ride-sharing services will become available to the public in just over 5 years but it will take 12 years or so before self-driving cars are available for purchase. Consumers indicated that they expect self-driving cars to arrive in a little over 8 years.

What do our readers think about EV and autonomous vehicle technology? Is autonomous ride-sharing the wave of the future or will the transition from driver-operated to driver-less be too difficult? Would you ever consider purchasing your own autonomous vehicle or autonomous EV? Would you consider ditching car ownership altogether if ride-sharing technology made it cost and time effective? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.

Source | Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Neil Brooks
Neil Brooks is an electric vehicle owner and lover currently based in the greater Washington D.C. area. Neil is a fan of all things electric and may be the only person in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States to own both an electric leaf blower and an electric chainsaw. When he's not busy blogging about the latest on electric technology he enjoys grilling, rock climbing, and taking naps in his hammock.