More Americans Are Considering Electric Vehicles, According to a Study

With increasing climate change concerns, more than a third of Americans are flocking to electric vehicles. So what barriers do the other two-thirds face?
Written by Elaine Duvet
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 14, 2022
While they may not be available right now due to
current supply chain shortages
, most Americans would rather purchase an electric vehicle. In the organization’s largest-ever nationally representative survey, Consumer Reports discovered more than a third of Americans would consider an electric car.
, the
car ownership super app
, looks into why some Americans are turning to
eco-friendly cars
and the factors stopping others from going electric. 

Electric vehicles are the future

Consumer Reports
survey involved 8,027 U.S. adults across different income groups and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Surprisingly, almost 50% of Americans were unaware of state and federal incentives that could help offset the price of an EV. 
Not only are
lower-priced electric vehicles
coming to market, but as charging networks and battery ranges increase, it's becoming more and more convenient to own a battery-powered car. 
As a testament to EV ownership barriers breaking down, the survey found that 14% of U.S. drivers said they would “definitely” lease or purchase an EV if they were looking to buy a car today. That’s 4% more than the licensed drivers who took the same survey in 2020. 
Their reasons? About 33% of Americans believe it costs less to charge an EV than to pay at the pump, 31% are fans of the lower overall lifetime costs, and 28% say maintenance costs are lower.  
The conducted survey proves that Americans are interested in reducing their environmental impact and cost of transportation. 

More results from Consumer Report’s electric vehicle survey

The national survey also found that males are more likely to consider an electric vehicle than females, and young adults are more likely than older adults. Americans with higher education and income levels were more likely than those on the other end of the spectrum. 
Also, consumers living in urban areas were more interested in EVs than those who lived in rural areas or the suburbs. 
As far as visibility and experience, 44% of citizens have seen an electric car in their neighborhood in the past month. 17% of consumers have been a passenger in a battery-electric vehicle in the past year, and a mere 7% have actually driven one. 
Seven out of 10 Americans said that climate change was a “very important” issue to them or at least “somewhat important.” 
About 67% of surveyed drivers would use low-carbon fuel to fill up their car if it were the same price as the cost of regular fuel.

Barriers to owning an electric vehicle

Three main barriers discourage consumers from considering an electric vehicle. The top barrier that concerned 61% of Americans was charging logistics. 55% of people were worried about how far the EV can go before needing another charge. 
The good news is that there are currently 48,000 public charging points and plenty more on the way—not to mention an awesome network of Tesla Superchargers. 
Half of Americans said that free charging stations would be the biggest incentive to get them to go electric, while 47% would be game if they could easily recharge their EV where they live. Others want easier access to fast-charging public stations in their local area. 
Hybrids are also great options for those still on the fence about plug-in models. With regenerative braking, you’ll never have to plug in your car and you’ll still save plenty on gas.
Lastly, 52% of consumers had concerns about the cost of buying and maintaining an electric vehicle.  
However, a 2020 study conducted by Consumer Reports pointed out that since EV’s have fewer moving parts, electric car owners spend about 50% less on maintenance and repair over the EV’s lifetime.
Cost-related factors holding drivers back may be due to the attention given to pricier models like Tesla, Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz. Some shoppers are unaware of more affordable options from mainstream carmakers, like the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona, and the $26,595 2023 Chevy Bolt. 
For now, consumers want to see lower purchasing prices, an extended vehicle range, and better access to public charging. We’ll definitely see more EVs on the road as the auto industry gets back on its feet and EV ownership concerns are further addressed. 
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