The time to invest in an electric vehicle has never been more convenient, says a new study from the nonprofit electric car advocacy group Leaf.
According to a survey of 1,400 people, electric vehicles are on track to be the most popular vehicle in America by 2021, according to the data.
A full 30% of respondents said they had bought an electric for at least a year, with the remainder of the respondents saying they had never had an electric in their lives.
While electric vehicles have the potential to be one of the most important economic drivers of the next decade, Leaf says its data only shows the tipping point for consumers to embrace electric vehicles.
The group says the tipping-point will depend on a range of factors, including consumer interest and the price of the car.
“As the economy continues to improve, electric vehicle adoption will become more of a driver of future growth and demand,” the group wrote in a blog post.
This isn’t just a matter of buying a car; the Leaf report also found that “some consumers have stopped buying their vehicles entirely because they cannot afford to pay for them.”
The survey also found nearly a third of respondents who said they currently owned an electric were not buying any vehicles in the next year, and nearly one in five of those people said they would no longer buy an EV in the coming decade.
The survey of 2,000 people was conducted by SurveyMonkey in conjunction with Leaf, a nonprofit that helps the public understand the power of electric vehicles and the role electric vehicles can play in our economy.
The survey was also the first of its kind, Leaf said.
There’s no shortage of research into the impact electric vehicles could have on the American economy, including a 2014 report from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Despite the economic benefits electric vehicles might have, there’s a clear sense of disconnect between people’s perception of the cars and how they actually drive.
A recent survey of more than 1,000 Americans by the Consumer Reports consumer research firm found that the majority of respondents do not believe they drive an electric when they do.
The study also found many consumers who are considering an electric drive feel as though they are spending more than they are earning.
According to Leaf, the lack of confidence in the electric vehicle is partly due to the fact that electric vehicles aren’t expected to replace gasoline-powered vehicles.
“Many people expect the electric to be a substitute for gas, but not an adequate substitute,” the study stated.
For its part, the Electric Power Research Institute says the vast majority of electric vehicle owners are not concerned about the potential impact of a mass market electric vehicle.