Price is keeping many Americans away from EVs, polling suggests

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Price is keeping many Americans away from EVs, polling suggests


Americans aren’t very enthusiastic about EVs, with cost, range anxiety, and charging among the main concerns, according to a new consumer poll by the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).

Researchers polled 6,265 U.S. adults between March 26 and April 10, 2024, with about 4 in 10 respondents saying they were at least somewhat likely to get an EV as their next car purchase, and 21% saying they were “very” or “extremely” likely to buy an EV as their next car.

2024 Volkswagen ID.4

Among those not interested in an EV, nearly 6 in 10 cited cost as a primary reason. That echoes previous polls and studies, with the Energy Information Administration (EIA) attributing an EV sales stumble in the first quarter of this year to a dearth of affordable models.

Cost was more of a concern for older adults, the AP noted, who also tend to be less interested in EVs than younger car shoppers, according to previous research. A report from earlier this year underscored that Gen X and Millennials buy the most EVs, and one recent survey suggested that younger U.S. drivers are more open to Chinese EVs as well.

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

About half of U.S. adults cite range anxiety as a reason not to buy an EV, while about 4 in 10 said long charging times and lack of public charging stations in their areas were strikes against EVs, the AP poll found.

While the industry often cites the figure that 85% of EV drivers charge at home the majority of the time, survey results from ChargeLab emphasize that 3 of 5 EV drivers with home charging use public chargers weekly. The federal government’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) effort is accelerating slowly, and Tesla has recently pulled back in its Supercharger push, so whether public infrastructure can truly fulfill EV drivers’ needs remains to be seen.

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