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Kelley Blue Book: Survey says: Many EV buyers aren’t in it for the environment—here’s what they care about

America is going electric. Automakers are pumping out new electric vehicles as fast as they can design them. Some of the biggest automakers have committed to going all-electric, or mostly-electric, by public target dates.

Many Americans are buying in. More than 5% of the new cars Americans bought last quarter had a battery instead of a gas tank.

Incredibly, it’s not about the environment. It’s about big screens.

At least, that’s what one study commissioned by electric automaker Polestar


About Polestar

Polestar was once a tuner shop known for creating high-performance versions of Volvo

cars. It still does some of that work, but the company now produces its own electric cars. Its best-selling product, the Polestar 2, is a midsize luxury EV distinguished by a rugged look and heavy use of sustainable materials.

Read: What is EV, BEV, HEV, PHEV? Here’s your guide to types of electric cars

The survey

The company commissioned a survey of 5,086 American drivers who own electric or gasoline-powered cars to find out “the state of electric car acceptance, charging infrastructure, and the perception of electric car brands when purchasing a vehicle.”

Some of the results were surprising. For instance, 55% of those who had switched to electric cars did not list environmental concerns as their top reason for the switch.

Why did they switch? In-vehicle technology and infotainment systems were the leading reason.

“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,” said Gregor Hembrough, head of Polestar North America.

Younger drivers have more confidence in new EV-only brands, the survey found. Fifty-seven percent of millennials (ages 25 to 40) described themselves as “confident in new electric car brands” compared to only 28% of baby boomers (ages 57 to 75).

Don’t miss: While car prices keep going up, these two electric cars just got a big price cut

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