Consumer group says conclusions from J.D. Power study on electrics are wrong

(April 29, 2011) WASHINGTON (PRNewswire) — In the past 24 hours, a number of news organizations have reported on what the Consumer Federation of America called "erroneous conclusions" drawn by J.D. Power and Associates study on the future of electric vehicles.

Both J.D. Power and the media have totally mischaracterized the data from the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Green Automotive Study on the adoption of innovative technologies like electric vehicles. Despite the news headlines, J.D. Power's own data actually indicates electric vehicles are poised to become a major player in the U.S. auto market, CFA says.

See the J.D. Power study on MotorwayAmerica.

Both CFA's examination of the performance of electric vehicles over the past decade and the J.D. Power projections for future performance, clearly indicate that U.S. consumers will buy more than a million electric vehicles by 2015.

To put a million electric vehicle sales by 2015 into perspective, last year's top selling car was the Toyota Camry with 327,804 models sold. If electric vehicles sell a million vehicles by 2015, as the J.D. Power data suggests they will, then they'll average 250,000 vehicles a year — easily making them among the most popular models in the aggregate, CFA says.

That will make them as popular as two of America's hottest selling models, the Toyota Corolla (266,000) and the Honda Civic (260,000).

"Consumers today are more concerned than ever before about rising gas prices and with over 100 new electric models set to hit the market in the next half decade, fuel efficient hybrid and electrics  are not only likely grab a growing market share, they will also push gasoline engines to become more efficient," said Dr. Mark Cooper, Director of Research, CFA.

The Prius saw record sales in the first few months of 2011 and recently passed the one million units sold mark. "If today's electric and hybrid vehicle naysayers had had their way, the Prius would have never made its way from the Tokyo Motor Show into a million U.S. driveways," said Jack Gillis, CFA Director of Public Affairs and author, The Car Book.

This year, average household expenditures for gasoline are projected to exceed $2,800, which would represent the largest annual expenditure ever. "We're spending as much to drive our cars as we do for all the energy needed to run our homes," said Cooper. 

"Adopting new technologies and improving the fuel economy of passenger vehicles is the best insurance consumers will ever have against rising gasoline prices," said Gillis.

The Consumer Federation of America is an association of nearly 300 nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.