This finding, from a recent paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that the growth in demand for EVs is largely due to the appeal of the models’ technology and features, not a deeper attachment to the idea of owning an EV than in the past.
While some car buyers may indeed want an EV on principle—like many of the early adopters who helped the vehicles get their first couple of percentage points of market share—researchers report that the size of this group does not appear to have changed. Meanwhile, EVs made up 7.2 percent of the market for new cars and light trucks in the first quarter of this year, more than double the share from two years ago, according to the research arm of Cox Automotive.
Or, as another co-author of the study, the Carnegie Mellon University engineering professor Jeremy Michalek, puts it: “Consumers haven’t changed. It’s technology that’s driving EV adoption.”