In what segments will electric cars do best by 2025? Twitter poll results

Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

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As U.S. car buyers increasingly opt for crossover utility vehicles of all sizes over passenger sedans and hatchbacks, that shift has come to pose a problem for electric cars.

The bulk of battery-electric models on offer today are compact five-door hatchbacks without available all-wheel drive.

Think BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Soul EV, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Nissan Leaf, and Volkswagen e-Golf—nary a crossover SUV among them.

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With gasoline remaining cheap and seven years of rising corporate average fuel economy standards successfully met, crossovers remain attractive to the mass market for multiple reasons.

So it’s arguable the mismatch between market desires and available electric cars has limited sales of plug-in vehicles.

Last week’s Twitter poll asked which segments would be most popular for electric vehicles by 2025.

The responses pretty much matched the market trend: SUVs won over passenger cars.

More than half the poll participants (53 percent) chose “small crossovers and SUVs” as the segment that would likely be most popular for electric cars by 2025.

They were followed by “sedans and hatchbacks” at 27 percent, which is where the vast majority of today’s sales lie.

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Curiously, only 9 percent of respondents chose “luxury cars,” which is where a huge amount of the sales to date have fallen, courtesy of Tesla.

To be fair, our categories weren’t mutually exclusive, and it’s possible respondents put the Tesla Model S into “sedans and hatchbacks” and the Model X into the “crossovers and SUVs” category, though it’s hardly small.

But luxury vehicles scored lower even than “pickups and vans,” which got the final 11 percent of the votes.

Numerous all-electric crossovers are expected to hit the market, starting in 2019.

Nissan has said it will launch a small electric SUV in 2020 or later; Mitsubishi has shown electric-crossover concepts for years; BMW will launch its iX3 in 2020; and GM plans at least two other electric models, one of them expected to replace the current Buick Encore crossover.

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Whether all of those models will have the all-wheel drive that is one of the requirements many buyers demand in a crossover, of course, remains to be seen.

As always, please note that our Twitter polls are far from scientifically valid, due to small sample size and self-selection by those who choose to participate.

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