Poll: Nearly Half of Americans "Unlikely" to Buy an EV As Next Vehicle

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

A poll making the rounds this month suggests that almost half of Americans wouldn't buy an EV for their next vehicle purchase, due to a lack of reliable charging and high costs.

The poll was conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and only 19 percent said it was "very" or "extremely" likely they'd buy an EV when it was time for the next purchase.

Forty-seven percent said it's not likely they'd purchase an EV.

Eighty percent said it was the lack of charging infrastructure that was the primary reason they wouldn't buy an EV. That was consistent whether the person lived in an urban, rural, or suburban area.

This poll came out right after the Biden administration unveiled proposed fuel-economy rules that could require 67 percent of new vehicles sold to be electric by 2032.

As part of that, the admin wants to see another half million chargers on the market by the end of this decade. Companies like Ford and Tesla have committed to help make that happen.

Those polled were only 35 percent in favor of stricter rules that would increase EV adoption, and only 27 percent supported rules that would require new-vehicle sales to be electric or hybrid by 2035.

Forty-nine percent support tax rebates or other financial incentives for clean energy and 46 support federal funding for infrastructure.

Poll respondents were mixed over why they'd buy an EV: 35 percent said reducing their carbon footprint would be a major reason why, while 31 percent said it would only be a minor factor.

About half of the respondents think climate policy matters, with things breaking among partisan lines. Democrats thought climate policy was the third-most important issue out of six, behind only the economy and health care, while Republicans ranked it last.

The poll took place from January 31 to February 15, and 5,408 adults responded. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 1.7 points.

[Image: Chevrolet]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 138 comments
  • El scotto El scotto on Apr 28, 2023

    -darts eyes all about- Some employers offer free EV charging. Why do I think many of the anti-EV people on here aren't smart enough to get a job at those employers? Hint: they're tech companies. -more eye darting- Or the that the most virulent anti-EV posters are afraid that regularly driving an ICE will make people think they're old, poor, and not well educated? Just some thoughts.

  • David David on May 02, 2023

    I'd consider purchasing an electric vehicle but my present apartment building has no place to charge one.

  • MaintenanceCosts "But your author does wonder what the maintenance routine is going to be like on an Italian-German supercar that plays host to a high-revving engine, battery pack, and several electric motors."Probably not much different from the maintenance routine of any other Italian-German supercar with a high-revving engine.
  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.