Millennials are showing the most interest in purchasing an electric or autonomous vehicle over other age groups, according to a recent study conducted by Chase Auto Finance.
Chase found that 43% of millennials are likely to purchase an electric vehicle, as compared to 37% of consumers ages 35 to 44; 20% of consumers ages 45 to 54; and only 11% of consumers 55 to 64.
“It’s not surprising that millennials are early adopters of electric vehicles given how they’ve grown up with technological innovation,” Jim Manelis, Chase Auto Finance’s head of direct lending, told Auto Finance News. “As prices come down, I wouldn’t be surprised that more people migrate toward them as technology gets cheaper.”
The auto industry often comingles the topics of electric vehicles with autonomous vehicles because “they think of them as iPhones or computerized cars,” he said. “I think what you are seeing is as electric vehicles become more popular and more mainstream it does appeal to millennials [to have] something electrical. It is something they understand, and they like the technology that those vehicles have.”
On the autonomous vehicle side, Chase found that millennials have the highest affinity for self-driving vehicles, with 38% of that age demographic claiming they are likely to buy one in the future.
Not surprisingly, millennials are also the most likely to use a rideshare or car-share service — with one in five millennials claiming to use those services once a week or more often, according to the study.
However, Chase also found that 81% of millennials love or like driving, and 48% had their longest relationship with a vehicle, revealing millennials — at least at this point in time — still want to maintain control of their cars.
“On autonomous vehicles, that landscape is still open,” Manelis said. “I think models like rideshare, shared ownership, and subscriptions are evolutionary, and I’m not sure there is a clear structure out there taking hold at this point. One thing that resonates is that people love their cars. People still want to own their own vehicles.”