Electric vehicles are well on their way to becoming popular in the auto industry, with automakers worldwide investing billions of dollars into going electric. Still, consumer interest may still have a ways to go to meet U.S. climate goals, as a new poll shows that nearly half of U.S. adults may be considering EVs for their next purchase, while many are still concerned about high sticker prices and a lack of charging stations.
Above: A Tesla Model 3 (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
According to a recent poll, roughly four out of 10 adults in the U.S. who drive gas cars are at least somewhat likely to switch to EVs for their next vehicle purchase, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. The poll was jointly conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, and it suggests that there’s still some room to grow when it comes to both charging infrastructure and EV prices.
The joint poll was conducted between January 31 and February 15, and it included a total of 5,408 U.S. adult respondents. The study also utilized interviews from a recent NORC Panel, designed to be a microcosm for the U.S. population.
Just 19 percent of respondents said they were “very” or “extremely” likely to purchase an EV for their next vehicle, while around 22 percent said that they were “somewhat likely” to. The majority, 47 percent, said they were unlikely to buy electric. Additionally, 8 percent of U.S. adult respondents said someone in their home or they themselves owned or leased an EV, while around 8 percent said their home had a plugin hybrid vehicle.
As for why they wouldn’t buy an EV, roughly 60 percent of respondents who said buying an EV was unlikely cited the high sticker price as a major reason, while about 25 percent named the concern as a minor reason. About 16 percent of these respondents said that the high sticker prices of EVs were not a factor in choosing not to go electric.
Charging infrastructure was another primary concern discussed in the poll, as was noted by 75 percent of respondents saying it was unlikely they would buy an EV, and about 50 percent of them calling it a major reason. Nearly 67 percent of the EV-rejecting respondents said they preferred gas vehicles, for either major or minor reasons.
One such respondent included Robert Piascik, 65, who lives in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.
“I’m an internal combustion engine kind of guy,” Piascik said. “I can’t see myself spending a premium to buy something that I don’t like as much as the lower-priced option.”
Piascik currently drives a 2017 BMW 3-Series, and he also likes the simplicity of rolling into a gas station and filling up in minutes.
“The early adopters have to put up with a lack of infrastructure,” Piascik added.
Still, even Piascik says he doesn’t have anything against EVs, and he even said he will likely consider purchasing one — at least when they become more affordable and their tech improves.
Source: Chicago Tribune