Experian Automotive finds electric car buyers young and affluent

2015 Ford Focus Electric
2015 Ford Focus Electric

Boulder Hybrids plugin AOA800pxA pattern emerges on the habits of electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid buyers with a new Experian Automotive study. The gist is that people buying EVs are usually younger, and more affluent than those buying hybrids.

EVs are for rich people!

Before you roll your eyes at yet another “study”, we‘ll give this one credit after analyzing more than three million vehicles powered by alternative energy last year. The results were interesting, although not very surprising. It found that EV buyers usually have higher credit scores and higher monthly loan payments. We can foresee the comments about how electric cars are really for rich people.

The numbers

The demographics and numbers are interesting. 74% of EV buyers are younger than 56 years old, 55% of hybrid owners are younger than 56. About 21% of EV owners had an average household income of $175,000 or more. However, the hybrid clan were only 12% of the survey at the same income level. As far as credit score, no great shock there either with EV buyers having a higher average, around 749, while hybrid buyers were slightly lower at 741.

Leasing is where the numbers tell the bigger picture. Most EVs are leased, possibly because most EVs are for lease only. People who leased their vehicles averaged a credit score of 747, compared to 729 for the hybrid clan.

Top EVs and hybrids

Nothing shocking in revealing that the top five hybrids on the road in 2013 were the Toyota Prius, Camry, Honda Civic, Toyota Highlander and the Ford Fusion in order. Experian Automotive reported the top five electric models were the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S, the Ford Focus, the Fiat 500e and the venerable Mitsubishi i-MIEV.

Now here is the interesting tidbit about hybrids. More people took out loans at 57% than leased them at 22%, and 22% paid cash. Things shift to the opposite with EVs, with more people leasing them at 87% than those who took out loans at 9%. Only a mere 4% paid cash. If you think about it, and as we mentioned above, most EVs are still only available under a lease.

Tesla, a league of its own

Nothing new here with 46% of Tesla Model S owners having paid cash and 54 percent taking out loans, while not too many leased the car.

The average monthly loan payment for an EV was $549, and $467 for a hybrid. The average monthly lease payment for EVs was $263 and $386 for a hybrid.

Are you surprised? We’re not.

Via The New York Times

Nicolas Zart
Born and raised around classic cars, it wasn't until Nicolas drove an AC Proulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing about this amazing technology and its social impacts in 2007. Today, Nicolas covers renewable energy, test drives cars, does podcasts and films. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries. His articles are also published on Teslrati, CleanTechnica, the Beverly Hills Car Club and Medium. "There are more solutions than obstacles." Nicolas Zart