AAA Survey Says EV Hype Might Be Over

AAA Survey Says EV Hype Might Be Over

Only 18% of U.S. adults say they would be "very likely" or "likely" to buy a new or used EV.

AAA announced that its most recent annual consumer survey on electric vehicles (EVs) indicates a decline in consumer interest in purchasing EVs. Only 18% of U.S. adults say they would be “very likely” or “likely” to buy a new or used EV (not a hybrid) — down from 23% last year. Even more revealing, 63% cited “unlikely or very unlikely” to purchase an EV for their next car purchase.

“Early adopters who wanted an EV already have one,” said Greg Brannon, director of automotive research at AAA. “The remaining group of people who have yet to adopt EVs consider the practicality, cost, convenience and ownership experience, and for some, those are big enough hurdles to keep them from making the jump to fully electric.”

AAA found the main hesitations in purchasing an EV continue to be cost, lack of convenient charging options and range anxiety. Three in 10 also cited the inability to install a charging station where they live:

  • Higher purchase price – 60% 
  • High cost of battery repair or replacement – 57% 
  • Concern there are not enough places to charge – 54% 
  • Unsuitable for long-distance travel – 54% 
  • Concern about running out of charge when driving – 53% 
  • Other – 16% 

Accessible, reliable, affordable and convenient charging is key to growing EV interest and adoption. For people who live in an apartment or condo, at-home charging options are likely not possible. An EV might be a great choice for households with two-plus cars, but it might not fit the consumer who has to rely on their car for everyday use and travel.

AAA believes there may be a near-term ceiling related to consumer adoption of battery EVs due to their costs, charging accessibility and range anxiety. However, hybrid options could bridge these gaps, broadening consumer interest in owning an EV. AAA’s survey also found that one in three U.S. adults (31%) say they would be “very likely” or “likely” to buy a hybrid. Access to a hybrid vehicle lessens the anxiety for consumers because it allows people to enjoy the benefits of electrification without feeling like they are disrupting their current lifestyle or travel plans (longer distance driving, less charging options, etc.).

“Deciding to make the leap to full electric may feel overwhelming for many consumers, and a hybrid option may be the way to bridge this gap,” Brannon said. “Consumer demand will ultimately dictate the future, and my prediction is that we will have a mix of EVs, hybrids and internal combustion vehicles in dealerships and on the roads in the U.S. for many decades ahead.”

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