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Electric Vehicles: A New Era for Consumers

As electric vehicle momentum has accelerated in 2022, major auto OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers) have committed to a conversion to fully electrified fleets across the next 10 years. While few households own an EV (electric vehicle) today, Parks Associates’ research estimates many more will buy them in the future. Alternative fuel vehicles have been around for decades, but adoption wasn’t common until the Toyota Prius boosted the popularity of hybrids (currently owned by 14% of households), and Tesla boosted the popularity of plug-in electric cars.

Electric Vehicle Purchase Intentions

A likely holdover from these trends has EV purchase intention (saying 5-7 on a 7-pt. scale) highest among consumers planning to buy cars rather than SUVs or other vehicle types:

U.S. consumers will start seeing more options in other body styles as OEMs build out a variety of options as well as delivery vans and other commercial vehicles. It will be critical for OEMs to overcome supply chain issues and component shortages to capitalize on this demand and build momentum for their new product lines.


Familiarity is low overall but higher for an important group—vehicle shoppers. Educating consumers is a common challenge for emerging tech, but fortunately for EVs there are many potential sources for information and an invested consumer base who is planning a major purchase and will do the research.

The OEMs, dealers, energy companies, charging companies, and politicians who are invested in the success of EVs will need to work together to reach the remaining consumers who need more information before they can feel familiar with the new products.

EV Owners

Parks Associates finds electric vehicle owners are young, affluent, urban, dual-income families who are less likely to live in a single-family home. EV owners live in densely populated areas where charging is more likely to be available. This customer base should be able to withstand difficult economic times that may be coming, so products that appeal to this market should continue to do well. Finding electric vehicles that appeal to a broader market is the next challenge.

Tech affinity is a key characteristic of EV owners and intenders as well as buyers of connected devices. As they adopt new technology, they are willing to adopt new activities. Eighty percent of the EV intenders will add to or replace gasoline fill-ups with charging.

EV interest and adoption can be used by connected device and service players of all kinds as a signal of interest and potential adoption of their products. Of interest to ISPs and mobile providers, these connected devices (including high-tech vehicles) will both create and consume large amounts of data.

With more than half of EV intenders saying they prefer to charge at home, there is potential for a major strain on the electrical grid if electric vehicle adoption grows and creates new peak periods where electricity demand exceeds a provider’s capacity to generate energy. Next to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), managing the load created by EV charging will be critical to prevent increased blackouts or at least reduce the need for generation from more inefficient, expensive, and dirty sources.

Home energy management device makers and EV charger makers have an opportunity to offer an automated experience that will save money for the user and avoid grid issues without requiring adjustments from the provider or user.

The next few years represent a challenging but critical time for players in energy and connected technology industries to determine how the rise of EVs will impact their industries and customer segments, and strategies to ensure their solutions will be part of the new reality.

Parks Associates will present consumer research impacting the electric vehicle market and address key trends and topics affecting the energy and smart home industries during its annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer. In its 13th year, Smart Energy Summit conference series hosts virtual sessions throughout the year, with the next virtual session taking place in November.

By Chris White, senior analyst, Parks Associates

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