AAA: Many Consumers Interested In EVs, But Reluctant To Buy

While consumer interest in going green remains steady, adoption of electric vehicles lags, AAA found in its annual survey tracking opinions of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Americans may not have a solid understanding of electric vehicle performance, which may be giving them pause when it comes to considering electric for their next purchase, according to AAA.

“Today, more than 200,000 electric cars can be found on roads across the country, as almost every manufacturer sells them,” AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations, Greg Brannon, said. “But, like other new vehicle technologies, Americans don’t have the full story, and that could be causing the gap between interest and action.”

For example, the survey found that 59% of Americans were unsure of whether electric vehicles have better range when driving at highway speeds or in stop-and-go traffic.

When asked if most vehicles will be electric by 2029, four in 10 survey participants said “yes.” Although most Americans don’t believe electric vehicles will be on the road in masses in the next 10 years, the survey extrapolated that 40 million Americans would likely consider an electric vehicle for their next car purchase, with Millennials leading the pack, followed by Generation X.

Concern for the environment and lower long-term costs remain the leading reasons to buy electric (74% and 56%, respectively), according to the survey.

Specific objections to buying electric remain but have trended down. Concern that there are not enough places to charge or of running out of charge while driving were both down 11% from 2017, the survey showed. Anxiety about higher costs for battery repair or replacement was down 8%, and higher purchase price was down 6%.

Results were based on 1,000 telephone interviews of adults 18 and older conducted April 4-7.