You may be surprised over half the people who buy electric vehicles do so for reasons other than environmental concerns.
A common belief about most buyers of electric vehicles is they purchase these vehicles as part of their efforts to save the planet.
People seeking to buy a Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report or other electric vehicle from Ford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report, General Motors (GM) – Get General Motors Company Report or maybe Volkswagen are believed by many to be most concerned about climate change and unhealthy air caused by emissions from internal combustion engines powered by fossil fuels, as well as water pollution caused by drilling and fracking for crude oil and natural gas.
But do most people who buy an electric vehicle do it for environmental reasons? Tesla CEO Elon Musk is quick to remind everyone that his company that makes the most EVs in the world is “doing the most to solve climate change,” according to a recent Musk text to Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Are people really thinking about solving climate change when they are test driving a Tesla or another EV? Or do they want to buy that car for other reasons?
Tesla rival Polestar (PSNY) – Get Polestar Automotive Holding UK Limited Report says it has data that shows most people in the U.S. who buy electric vehicles don’t purchase them for environmental reasons.
The Reasons Why People Buy EVs
What features are most important to get a U.S. driver to switch from a gas-powered vehicle to an EV? A third-party survey commissioned by Polestar shows that 55% of EV buyers are more interested in the vehicle’s infotainment systems, in-vehicle technology and seamless connectivity than environmental benefits, according to a July 26 statement. The study, conducted by OnePoll, surveyed 5,086 American drivers between Jan. 5 and Jan. 26, 2022.
“The idea of luxury being defined by what’s ‘under the hood’ has been replaced in the electric era with the prioritization of seamless connectivity, integration into existing digital ecosystems, and good UX design,” Gregor Hembrough, head of Polestar North America, said in the statement. “People are switching to electric cars for more than just environmental reasons, and Polestar’s focus on in-vehicle technology means they can have everything they want in an environmentally friendly package.”
The Gothenburg, Sweden, automaker, founded by Volvo and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2017, markets the Polestar 2, the company’s first fully electric, high-volume car. The EV has 408 horse power and its base model sells for $40,900. It previously sold the Polestar 1 from 2019 to 2021, which was a low-volume hybrid vehicle.
Polestar in October 2022 will roll out its first electric SUV, the Polestar 3, and in 2023 it will launch a smaller SUV coupe EV, the Polestar 4.
Trying to Compete with Tesla
The EV manufacturer has set the bar high to compete against Tesla, as its CEO Thomas Ingenlath said the company set a goal to sell 290,000 EVs in 2025, according to a statement. The company has a mountain to climb to reach that goal as the company only delivered 21,200 in the first six months of 2022, which was a 125% increase from the same period in 2021. The company said that it has taken 50,000 vehicle orders in the first half of the year and targets delivering that amount for the whole year.
Polestar has opened 125 retail locations in Europe, North America, China and Asia Pacific through the first half of the year and expects to open another 30 locations by the end of 2022.