AAA Survey: 20% of Americans Say Their Next Car Is Likely Electric

©. Sami Grover

US sales of plug-in cars were at their highest ever level in March, and more and more people appear to be aware of and interested in cars that don't need gas. Nevertheless, we have an awful long way to go before we catch up with the likes of Norway, where a full 55% of March sales had plug-in capabilities.

But things may be about to change.

In fact, CNN just reported on a survey from AAA that showed a full one-in-five Americans saying they are likely to buy an electric car for their next new vehicle. True, as CNN points out, answering a survey and buying a car are two different things. But as awareness grows, vehicle choices expand, and charging options proliferate, I do expect to see non-linear growth in demand for plug-in vehicles.

After all, I'm still regularly meeting genuinely environmentally conscious people who do drive cars, and who have little to no idea of what electric and plug-in options are available to them. Once I start telling them about the costs of electric driving, and the range of vehicles that are beginning to become available, I see their interest grow. In other words, I suspect there's a much larger market below the surface than anyone really realizes.

Let's just hope these EV-curious folks don't take my road trip experience with a 2013 Nissan Leaf as representative of life with a more modern, longer range electric vehicle...