Research Outline

Demographic Analysis - Vehicle Owners


To obtain insights on the demographics of U.S. consumers who purchase vehicles, with a breakdown by type of vehicle purchased, gas, hybrid electric (HEV), and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV). Ultimately the goal is to understand the attributes of the consumer of each type of vehicle.

Early Findings

  • Only 5% of the new cars sold in the U.S. in 2018 were battery based vehicles.
  • Since the majority of vehicles purchased in the United States are still gas powered, the assumption was made that any demographics available on car owners/purchasers in the U.S. would be the same as the demographics for owners of gas powered vehicles.
  • Baby Boomers purchase 62% of new cars in the U.S. but is expected that soon millennials will be the major purchasers of new vehicles.
  • The average age of a new car or truck purchaser in the U.S. in about 53. A survey from January 2019 showed the breakdown of new SUV purchasers by age as: <1% are age 24 and under, 43% are 25-54, 26% are 55-64, and 31% are 65 and older.
  • Ninety percent or more of new car buyers own their own home.
  • The age breakdown for buyers of electric vehicles based on a January 2019 survey is as follows: <1% are 24 and younger, 46% are 25-54, 22% are 55-64, and 32% are 65 and older. The numbers were slightly different for purchasers of PHEVs: <1% are 24 and younger, 54% are 25-54, 22% are 55-64, and 23% are 65 and older.
  • A study conducted in Norway found the owners of electric vehicles were younger, had higher education levels and incomes, reported more car use, and had more knowledge about electric cars as compared to owners of conventional cars. EV owners also had a higher level of understanding of the environmental effects of car use and felt more responsibility to do something about it.
  • Based on a survey conducted in March 2019 of Northeastern U.S. consumers, millennials are more likely to consider purchasing an electric vehicle than Baby Boomers.
  • The survey also showed that the availability of rebates or incentives was a top purchase motivator for people considering an electric vehicle.