Study: Tesla dominates electric car sales, but buyers are open to other electric vehicles

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Tesla is almost synonymous with electric cars in the minds of most Americans. But that can change quickly. A new survey by JD Power shows America’s best-selling EV brand is cracking.

Right now, Tesla’s dominance is undisputed – 79 percent of the electric vehicles sold in America last year were Teslas, and four of the top five best-selling electric cars are Tesla products.

JD Power’s new US study on electric vehicles, published for the first time on Thursday, shows that only four percent of electric vehicle buyers limit their purchase decision to Tesla products today.

Stewart Stropp, JD Power’s senior director of automotive retail, commented that Tesla’s market dominance “is not absolute and could be replaced by a worthy alternative.” About 27 percent of those who were likely to buy an electric vehicle named Tesla as their first choice, and in that group, performance was the number one selling point.

EV buyers tend towards luxury

Those who shop for luxury brands are more than twice as likely to consider an electric vehicle (36 percent) than those who shop for mainstream name badges (15 percent). Notice that it’s easy are more luxury electric vehicles than affordable electric vehicles in the market. That number can change as technology moves into more mainstream segments. We expect more than 100 electric cars to hit the US market by the end of 2021, many of them from cheaper brands.

Analysts surveyed over 9,000 buyers planning to buy a new car in the next 12 months. They found most electric vehicle buyers lukewarm. Only 59 percent consider themselves “rather likely” or “rather unlikely” to buy an electric vehicle.

First-hand experience increases openness to electric vehicles. Those who have ridden an electric vehicle are almost three times more likely to consider buying an electric car than those who have never driven it.

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