A global study of consumers points to a continued disconnect between environmental awareness and electric vehicle sales—especially among Americans. 

Based on polling of 20,000 worldwide respondents, the study module released Monday finds three familiar foes: cost, range, and charging infrastructure. And, it points out, price ranks far above the other two. 

Ipsos, as part of its Global Mobility Navigator Syndicated Study, found that consumers are only willing to pay an extra 10% above the price of a comparable gas or diesel model, and once the difference goes beyond 20% interest drops. With electric-car battery prices dropping 13% in 2019 year-over-year and expected to reach parity (and the $100/kwh mark, on a pack basis) with internal-combustion powertrains by 2023 or so, that complaint should hopefully soon be moot.

On driving range, Ipsos noted that Americans drive about 170 miles over a typical workweek, and with current long-range EV offerings a typical owner might only need to charge once a week. Yet 45% of Americans, according to poll data, believe that they would need to charge once or more per day. 

On average, Americans believe that it will be a minimum of 4.6 years before there’s an EV offering available to meet both budget and vehicle needs. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

It’s worth pointing out that while we see the same barriers over and over again—price, range, and infrastructure—the studies continue to differ on which one is most important. A Volvo/Harris poll from last year, for instance, found charging infrastructure to be the biggest obstacle. And an Autolist poll, also last year, found that range and price were the bigger issues

Further underscoring that there’s a disconnect, an annual survey from AAA found, last spring, that 20% of Americans intend to buy an electric car the next time they purchase a new one. 

This latest Ipsos study offered one point that others might gloss over: that familiarity with EVs is important in order to overcome some of the misconceptions. As of yet, just 10% indicated that they know EVs “very well,” while less than 10% indicated that they had never driven or ridden in an EV or even looked at one.