Electric Cars Are Coming, but Will People Actually Buy Them?

Automakers are pledging to transition their lineups to electric cars, pressured by legislating to reduce emissions and increase EV sales. But as good as electric cars are becoming, with solid-state batteries on the way, will people actually buy them? Forbes took a survey asking buyers if they’d consider an EV and why.

Volkswagen ID.4 Electric Car | Josh
Volkswagen ID.4 Electric Car | Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

23% of buyers are considering an EV as their next vehicle

According to the survey, 23% of potential buyers are considering an electric car as their next purchase. Now, in order to understand this statistic, you should understand how it was measured.

Forbes surveyed over 33,000 licensed drivers and showed them a list of powertrain options. This included gasoline, diesel, electric, and even hydrogen. But participants were asked which they’d consider buying and to select all that applied. So just because 23% of people are considering EVs doesn’t mean they’re buying one, and could opt for a gas car instead.

In fact, 45% of the surveyed drivers are looking at a gasoline-powered car as their next car. And ranking above electric cars are hybrids, which 27% of the participants are considering as their next purchase. So EVs haven’t overtaken gas-powered cars yet. But for the 23% of people who are interested, they have their reasons.

The reasons people are ready to buy an electric car

Nissan Leaf EV
Nissan Leaf Electric Car | Nissan

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Of the 23% of people looking into EV, 45% of them say their number one reason for going electric is to save the planet. Electric cars do reduce emissions, although they don’t completely cut them out. After all, charging stations have to get their power from somewhere.

But the second and third most important categories have to do with finances. 38% of those buyers know electric cars are cheaper to maintain, and 30% of them enjoy the idea of lower charging costs.

Paired with the idea of saving the planet, 22% of people agree that gas and diesel are going under. And while gasoline cars aren’t going anywhere yet, it’s true that gas will fuel more expensive as fewer people use it.

Just like the broad survey, participants were asked to select all that applied. Some put down that they enjoy having a silent car, like the design, or just want the latest technology. Though even though there are plenty of people on board with the shift, many are still on the fence.

The reasons people are hesitant to buy an electric car

Tesla Model S Electric Car
Tesla Model S Electric Car | Tesla

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It might surprise you, but the main reason people aren’t interested in electric cars is the high cost. That’s not necessarily true, as there are $20,000 electric cars available. Though they’re rather small and don’t have an excellent range. On top of that, new and used car prices are higher than ever. So even EVs like the Tesla Model 3 aren’t too bad.

The next four reasons folks are hesitant to buy an EV, however, all have to do with the complications of charging them. 30% of people say there aren’t enough electric car chargers, which is absolutely true and continues to hold back electric car growth. On top of that, 28% of participants complain that charge times are too long. And 27% of people don’t wish to deal with the hassle of charging, no do they approve of the high cost of charging a car at home.

Clearly, the main setback to going electric, other than price, isn’t the car itself. Once a reasonable, effective, and fast charging solution become as commonplace as gas pumps, people will stick with what works. So to wrap it up, electric cars are coming, but gas-powered solutions still have a tight grip on most potential buyers.

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