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Survey says Americans aren't sold on EVs

Would you consider buying or leasing an electric-only vehicle today?
Data: Consumer Reports; Chart: Axios Visuals

Just over one third of Americans say they'd "seriously consider" or "definitely" buy an EV as their next vehicle, per a survey of more than 8,000 U.S. adults by Consumer Reports.

Why it matters: While EV sales in the past year have doubled, they accounted for only 5% of new vehicle registrations — and the Consumer Reports survey showed just how unfamiliar EVs still are to most Americans.

Driving the news: Overall, Consumer Reports found that 71% of the people surveyed expressed at least some interest in EVs. But that figure includes the 35% share that merely said they "might consider" an EV.

  • EVs remain uncommon. Fewer than half of those surveyed said they'd even seen an EV in their neighborhoods.
  • Just 17% said they'd ridden in an EV in the past year, and barely 7% had driven one in the same period.

What they're saying: Participants said the primary concerns about owning an EV are charging logistics (61%), driving range (55%) and cost of buying and owning an EV (52%).

Yes, but: These same participants said EVs are cheaper to refuel (33%), cheaper to own (31%) and cheaper to maintain (28%).

The bottom line: 14% of the people surveyed said they'd "definitely" buy or lease an EV — a jump from 4% in another Consumer Reports survey just two years ago.

  • Those numbers should keep rising as more people see and get behind the wheel of EVs, as more EV models hit dealer lots next year — and, hopefully, as automakers solve the supply chain disruptions that have kept vehicles in short supply.
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