Millennials Aren't Interested in Electric Cars

Unless they're Teslas, that is.

Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle on charge on a London street
Miles Willis/Getty Images for Go Ultra Low

According to a report from Driving Tests, a website that does free DMV practice tests, 70 percent of millennials would not consider buying an electric car. On top of that, about 66 percent of those kiddos have significant reservations about self-driving cars. Incidentally, the favorite car brand among teenagers is Tesla.

These numbers come as a surprise to most analysts. Nobody is shocked that the higher up you go in age groups, the less favorable that group is to electric cars. But Millennials are supposed to be more open to new, emerging technology. Apparently, they still want good ol'-fashioned internal combustion.

While the younger age groups do trend slightly more favorable to EVs, it’s only by a few percentage points compared to seniors instead of the significant bump that automakers need to justify their R&D, factory retooling, and new product development that many of the big guys are pouring into EVs.

However, there’s a different study from the Consumer Federation of America that shows 57 percent of people of all age groups and 70 percent of young adults would buy an EV if it was priced similarly to an ICE car, had lower operating costs, recharged in under an hour, and had a range of 200-plus miles. So in other words, if it was a Chevy Bolt or a Tesla Model 3.

In some ways, these studies tell us what we already know. Obviously, people will become more receptive to electric cars as they become more realistic to own for more people. However, it’s still a surprise that young drivers by and large just aren’t interested in EVs. This Driving Tests report conflicts a bit with the new AAA report showing strong demand for electric cars. Time (and sales figures) will tell.