Consumers Union of U.S. Inc.

10/04/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/04/2019 14:31

New survey of car buyers in Illinois shows widespread interest in electric cars, trucks, and SUVs

Illinois drivers want greater access to vehicles with lower emissions, and support their state requiring more plug-in electric options

Chicago, IL - A new survey of prospective car buyers in Illinois finds broad interest in electric vehicles, as well as strong support for an incentive program available to all consumers purchasing an electric vehicle.

6 in 10 prospective car buyers in Illinois have some interest in electric cars, trucks and SUVs, finds a newly-published survey conducted by Consumer Reports (CR) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Most prospective Illinois car buyers (58 percent) also say their state should require automakers to offer plug-in electric vehicle options for purchase, with only 14 percent disagreeing with this policy option.

In August, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Kyoto Repeal Act, clearing the way for Illinois to begin the process of adopting 'Clean Car standards,' which includes Low Emission Vehicle and Zero Emission Vehicle standards. If Illinois adopts the Clean Car standards, it would join 14 other states that have chosen strong vehicle emission standards, using state authority to protect consumers from the harmful effects of air pollution and high fuel bills. Minnesota and New Mexico have also recently announced the intention to adopt Clean Car standards.

'The road to cleaner cars and healthier citizens is clear, and it is the path that Illinois consumers want their state to take,' says Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy for Consumer Reports. 'With the White House threatening to weaken pollution rules for vehicles, it's up to the Illinois governor to use his authority to protect consumers with Clean Car standards.'

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Prospective vehicle buyers in Illinois overwhelmingly want to see more electric cars available to buy, and believe that electric vehicles have real benefits:

  • 75 percent say automakers should provide more kinds of electric vehicles, including SUVs, pickup trucks and minivans.
  • 76 percent say increased electric vehicle use will help reduce pollution.
  • 75 percent say increased electric vehicle use will help reduce oil use.
  • 71 percent say electric vehicles will help consumers save money on gasoline and maintenance.

Policies that would grow the electric car market and help consumers drive electric also draw strong support in Illinois:

  • 76 percent say electric utilities should offer discount rates for plug-in electric vehicle charging (only 7 percent disagree).
  • 74 percent feel that incentives and tax rebates for plug-in electric vehicles should be available to all consumers (only 5 percent disagree).
  • 73 percent are supportive of their state increasing the use of plug-in electric vehicles for school buses, public transit, and fleets (only 7 percent disagree).
  • 71 percent say Illinois should make it easier for consumers to purchase and charge plug-in electric vehicles (only 7 percent disagree).
  • 58 percent say Illinois should require automakers to offer plug-in electric vehicle options (27 percent didn't have an opinion either way, and only 14 percent disagree).

Electric vehicles offer significantly lower operating and fueling costscompared to traditional, gas-powered cars. Electric vehicles in Illinois, on average, also produce about 69% less greenhouse gas emissions than gas-powered vehicles, according to a recent analysis by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports supports state adoption of low and zero emission standards because they save drivers money on fuel, improve the kinds of vehicles consumers already like to drive, and increase buying options for consumers at their local car dealerships.