Report: Telsa owners more concerned with performance than green

Here’s a big shocker – Tesla Motors’ electric cars are owned in a large part by males who value performance over economy. It is a marker which has interesting implications for how other emerging electric vehicles are perceived by would be drivers, according to a recent study by research firm Strategic Vision.

It follows on the heels of recent profiling of Tesla drivers suggesting, among other things, that they love pot and kinky sex.

Using what it terms a “a rapidly growing sample of Tesla buyers” in its study, Strategic Vision found Tesla has “29% fewer female owners compared to the average luxury buyer, 10% fewer than the electric vehicle buyer and at least 14% fewer than competitive performance vehicles like the Mercedes CLS-Class and BMW 5 Series.” Breaking down the typical buyer even more, it was found owners of this luxury electric car have double the average household income of other EV owners, and thus have more disposal income to afford the higher prices of theModel S.

Image courtesy of Tesla

What’s interesting to note here is,

compared to the 16% average rate of vehicle disposal within the luxury market, Tesla vehicles are adding to households at three times the typical rate. When new Tesla buyers dispose of a vehicle, they’re often coming from a Toyota Prius, Lexus SC, BMW M3, BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes E350.

The reason this quicker adoption rate of Tesla vehicles over other electric cars? The performance of the vehicle. While the field of electric plug-in vehicles has grown with the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Prius Plug-In, noted Strategic Vision, these are all seen from the eye of fuel economy and environmental considerations versus handling. It is by a wide margin as well, with Tesla owners ranking at 90 percent with the latter.

The take away for other manufacturers of electric vehicles is this – while it is great to appeal to the masses with fuel economy as a consideration, the real dollars from early adopters may more likely be spent towards higher performance, more sexy looking rides that just happen to be zero emissions as well.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling