As major automakers (including General Motors) race to develop the next generation of autonomous and electric vehicle technology, interest among consumers remains static, according to a recent study.
Per the recent J.D. Power 2020 Q3 Mobility Confidence Index Study, perception of autonomous and electric vehicle technologies among North American consumers has not changed, despite a shift in commuting habits resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Mobility Confidence Index for battery-electric vehicles remains neutral, decreasing among American drivers to 54 from 55 (on a 100-point scale) while increasing among Canadian drivers to 58 from 57,” J.D. Power reports. “For self-driving vehicles, the index is still low, slipping to 34 from 35 in the United States, while holding steady at 36 in Canada.”
With the major change in transportation following the COVID-19 pandemic, a shift in perception of these new technologies would not be totally unexpected. However, the recent J.D. Power study indicates this is not the case.
“With so many more people working from home or making shorter commutes, this is an opportunity to further tout the benefits of battery-electric vehicles and self-driving technologies,” said executive director of driver interaction and human interface research at J.D. Power, Kristin Kolodge. “However, consumers remain skeptical because of their lack of first-hand experience with these technologies and lack of education about how and why these technologies work.”
The J.D. Power study was conducted using survey responses from consumers and industry experts, including 8,500 responses regarding electric vehicles, and 9,000 responses regarding autonomous vehicles. The survey was fielded in September of this year.
Among the highlight findings was a rising expectation among consumers for greater driving range and lower charge times, as well as generally low first-hand experience with electric vehicles.
General Motors is gearing up to release a bevy of new electric vehicles in the next few years, with “at least” 20 new EV models by 2023. GM also unveiled the fully autonomous Cruise Origin shuttle bus/taxi in January, which is expected to enter production in late 2022.
Over the summer, GM announced it would allocate $20 billion between 2020 and 2025 to expand development of its autonomous and electric vehicle programs.
Source: J.D. Power