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Study shows EV buyers are young, wealthy

It doesn\'t matter the price point, EV buyers are usually rich.

It's no secret that top-end EVs like the Tesla Model S attract a wealthy clientele, but a new study finds that even buyers of less expensive electric vehicles are often younger and more affluent than than those that purchase the same vehicle with a conventional powertrain.

Car buying site TrueCar.com broke down the data and found that buyers of run-of-the-mill electric cars are significantly wealthier and younger than their gas-buying counterparts. For example, a typical buyer for a gas-power Ford Focus is 46 and has an average household income of $77,000 per year. However, the average Focus Electric buyer is just 43 and has an annual household income of $199,000.

Similarly, the gas version of the Fiat 500 draws buyers with an average age of 47 and a household income of $73,000 per year, but buyers of the battery-powered 500e are usually 45 with an annual household income of $145,000.

Despite having a substancial advantage in overall income, TreuCar discovered that EV buyers are far more likely to search out a bargain. Around half of all conventional buyers cited a good deal as the reason for purchasing a Focus while a whopping 82 percent of Focus Electric buyers signed the dotted line because of a bargain basement price. That pattern holds true for the Fiat too, with 52 percent of 500 buyers admitting to being lured by a good deal, while 67 percent of 500e buyers said they were enticed by cheap prices or lucrative rebates.

"These are really affluent folks," TrueCar President John Krafcik told USA Today. And one of the ways they got that way was by searching for bargains. "It's their psyche.”

While the Focus Electric and 500e are significantly cheaper than the Tesla Model S, it should be noted that both cars are more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts. The Focus Electric carries a $12,000 premium over the regular Focus while the 500e list for $15,555 more than the base 500. However, both cars are eligible for tax credits that can approach $10,000 in some states, bringing their overall costs inline with their conventional brethren.

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