Car Talk

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast dives deep into changes in consumer car buying habits.

March 04, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Are Consumers Really Interested in Electric and Hybrid Vehicles?,” NACS hosts Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, and Donovan Woods, director of operations for the Fuels Institute, talk cars with Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy for Consumer Reports.

“Buying a vehicle is a pretty emotional purchase for most people,” Baker-Branstetter said. “At the end of the day, people still want a car that makes them feel good about themselves and part of their identity.”

Safety, price and fuel economy top the list for car shoppers, but Baker-Branstetter also added vehicle class as important, too. “For example, we’ve really seen trends and changes in people moving to crossovers, both from regular cars and passenger vehicles, as well as from larger SUVs.”

Consumer Reports surveys support that “we’re still at an introductory phase with EVs,” Baker-Branstetter said. “There’s interest, but EV sales are still fairly low and make up a small percentage of the market.”

Baker-Branstetter tied part of the lower sales numbers to the fact that EVs are smaller vehicles. “As we’re seeing more EV options in larger vehicle classes, people will be able to have the benefits of EVs with the kinds of vehicles they’re looking for.”

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.