Americans Aren't Exactly Gung-Ho on EVs

Less than half say they're somewhat likely to switch when they next buy a car
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2023 2:14 PM CDT
40% Say Next Ride Might Be an EV
A motorist charges his electric vehicle at a Tesla Supercharger station in Detroit, Nov. 16, 2022. Less than half of US adults say they are likely to go electric when it comes time to buy a new vehicle, a new poll shows.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Many Americans aren’t yet sold on going electric for their next cars, with high prices and too few charging stations the main deterrents. About 4 in 10 US adults are at least somewhat likely to switch, but the shift from the country’s love affair with gas vehicles still apparently has a ways to travel. Other findings in the poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute:

  • Only 8% of US adults say they or someone in their household owns or leases an EV, and just 8% say their household has a plug-in hybrid.
  • Only 19% of US adults say it’s “very” or “extremely” likely they would purchase an electric vehicle the next time they buy a car, and 22% say it’s somewhat likely. About half—47%—say it’s not likely they would go electric.
  • Six in 10 said the high cost is a major reason they wouldn’t and about a quarter cited it as a minor reason. Only 16% said the high cost would not be a factor in rejecting an EV. New electric vehicles cost an average of more than $58,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. The average vehicle sold in the US costs just under $46,000.

  • About three-quarters say too few charging stations is a reason they wouldn’t go electric, including half who call it a major reason. Two-thirds cite a preference for gas vehicles as a major or minor reason they won’t go electric.
  • High prices and a lack of chargers are cited by at least half of Democrats and Republicans as main reasons for not buying an EV, but there’s a partisan divide: About 54% of Republicans say a preference for gas-powered vehicles is a major reason for not buying an EV; only 29% of Democrats say that.
  • Some 55% of adults under 30 say they are at least somewhat likely to get an electric vehicle next time, as do 49% of adults ages 30 to 44, compared with just 31% of those 45 and older.
  • Americans do see the benefits to an EV: Saving money on gas, with about three-quarters of adults calling it a major or minor reason.
  • Making an impact on climate change is another big reason many would buy an EV, with 35% saying that reducing their personal impact on the climate is a major reason and 31% saying it’s a minor reason.
(More electric vehicles stories.)

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