Study: People Want to Buy EVs but Costs Are Still Too High

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

One of the things that EV antagonists often cite is a lack of buyer enthusiasm for electric vehicles. As it turns out, the demand is there, but costs are a significant hurdle for buyers. A recent study from KPMG found that most people are interested in buying an EV, but many cite affordability as a hurdle to ownership. 

Around half of gas and diesel vehicle owners told KPMG that they were considering a hybrid or electric vehicle, and most of that group said they were considering a purchase in the next two years. Environmental concerns are a top priority for these buyers, but their green ambitions are running up against a very real financial wall. KPMG’s global automotive sector leader, Gary Silber, told Automotive News that “a lot of people are excited about the opportunity, but I don’t know how many people can afford it.”

KPMG found that EV demand followed location, with West Coast residents and the Pacific Northwest leading the charge. Unsurprisingly, households with more money were more likely to own an EV or alternative fuel vehicle. Lower-income consumers were least likely to consider the move, though Silber said that credits might help in the coming years. Beyond income, Silber also thinks that dealer service and product knowledge will play a significant role in consumer product adoption. 

[Image: Kia]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

More by Chris Teague

Join the conversation
4 of 58 comments
  • Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen on May 23, 2023

    We use our cars to travel 170 miles between residences. Of importance to me besides the other parameters mentioned above are:

    • cost to install charging equipment at two locations
    • cost to install solar panels and battery storage at one (private residence; other is condo townhouse)

    I would be much more in favor of a hybrid with an I4 and a reasonable single motor. Years ago I went to a Toyota dealer when the Hybrid Highlander came out, but then only with a V6. At least now they have a decent I4 with reasonable total HP.

  • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on May 23, 2023

    After seeing the spine doctor yesterday, it's looking like fall-into sports cars might have to go. The first pick for replacement is the hot hatch - CTR or give VW another chance with the Golf R. But if my condo HOA approves it, I might go the plug-in hybrid route. I'd try to get a charger installed in my parking area, there's four chargers at work, so gas use will be minimal. But like so many others, I am just not comfortable taking the total plunge into an EV. I take a few good driving trips a season and many are out in the sticks where there aren't chargers, or even many people to help in a pinch. If that's the route I go, the Prius Prime makes perfect sense. Plus getting 60 mpg when running on gas is impressive. My opinion- plug in hybrids make the most sense because for commuting, it's an EV and for the rest of the time, it sips fuel. But there's the nagging feeling of lugging around hundreds of pounds of unused power powertrain.

    • Master Baiter Master Baiter on May 24, 2023

      I bought a Macan recently because it's one of the last old school, mostly analog cars. No hybrid batteries, etc. Same motor as the Golf R, but it's mounted longitudinally, and the car is rear-drive biased. Nice interior; perfect fit and finish, and solid as a bank vault on the road.

  • Randy Randy on May 26, 2023

    My son had an earlier Civic that got 586,000 miles before he sold it for $700. I was hoping for half that with the Civic hybrid. Didn't get it by 140,000 miles. Didn't buy a Sienna either because I didn't own a minivan, nor do I want one. I could write in all caps that your comment(s) doesn't/don't make sense either because I never mentioned the Sienna. What I'm trying to say is that Sochiro Honda would admire the drivetrain of my deceased Civic but be raging about the lower reliability of the electronics, which you need to take advantage of the engine/transmission/chassis quality. I understand fully that any car today can be problematic regarding electronics because the trend for "being safe!" is so strong, but I'm steering away from a known gremlin which is the replacement costs of a hybrid battery system. I bought a Toyota Corolla and feel that I could have purchased many lesser vehicles than this one. Currently getting 38+ mpg average mileage after 350 miles so far, nice ride quality, decent passing power, very quiet and comfortable. I'm not holding anything against Honda, just using my own freedom of choice to not buy another. The dealership's offer of $250 trade-in on the hybrid Civic is why I'm not using them any longer. Hope this helps clarify my nonsensical opinion for you.

  • Stuart de Baker Stuart de Baker on Jun 01, 2023

    EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.

    I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.

    My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.