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Photo by picture alliance via Getty

Analysts and investors are getting ever more bullish on electric vehicles, but with little regard, it seems, for consumer attitudes.

Why it matters: Tightening regulations around the world could indeed shove the vehicle market toward electrics more quickly than expected. But if consumers are reluctant to buy, automakers will have to slash prices and absorb the losses, erasing investors' rosy hopes.

What's happening: Morgan Stanley raised its forecast for battery electric vehicles this week, saying they'll account for 31% of global auto sales by 2030.

  • IHS Markit says EVs will be 60-80% of cars sold by 2050.

Yes, but: While a new report from Resources for the Future finds 57% of future car buyers are willing to consider buying an EV, it also uncovered significant sources of hesitation based on perceptions that aren't necessarily accurate:

  • Batteries may catch on fire
  • Maintenance costs are higher
  • EVs have weaker acceleration than gas-powered cars
  • It's difficult to replace batteries
  • There aren't enough EV mechanics

Of note: 65% of respondents said they have not driven nor know anyone who has driven an EV. 

The bottom line: Automakers have a serious education challenge ahead.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Why Tesla's market cap is soaring far past GM's

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Tesla is soaring past General Motors in market capitalization — even as electric vehicles remain still a tiny slice of vehicle sales and FM's overall sales far outstrip Tesla's.

Why it matters: Tesla's enormous market value helps to show how investors see vehicles with a plug as the future, even though internal combustion vehicles will dominate for a long time to come.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.

2 hours ago - Health

Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources.

Why it matters: New York does not expect to get the same kind of help from thousands of out-of-state doctors and nurses that it got this spring, Cuomo acknowledged, as most of the country battles skyrocketing COVID hospitalizations and infections.

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