Seven out of 10 drivers in United States expressed at least some interest in getting an electric car in the future, but charging infrastructure and upfront pricing remain obstacles, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.
Specifically, 71% of drivers surveyed said they were interested in getting an electric car, 27% said they would consider getting one for their next car, and 4% said they planned on making their next car electric.
However, when asked what factor from a list of choices most concerned them about buying an electric cars, five out of 10 drivers said "not enough public charging stations." In addition, "public charging stations along highways" was the top choice from a list of policy actions that respondents said would increase their interest in buying or leasing an electric car.
These results echo a 2019 poll commissioned by Volvo, where the majority of respondents said lack of charging infrastructure was the main factor holding them back from buying an electric car. It shows that, in some ways, electric-car adoption faces the same barriers today as when the General Motors EV1 launched in 1997.
2022 GMC Hummer EV
Respondents also called for more government incentives to close the upfront-price gap between EVs and internal-combustion cars. The survey (which was conducted well before the recent presidential election) found that 60% of drivers were in favor of state and federal incentives for all consumers, while 12% opposed this policy.
Those results aren't surprising. An extension of the $7,500 federal EV tax credit achieved bipartisan support in the highly polarized Senate last year (but was opposed by the Trump administration), and a 2019 survey found that, among voters, electric cars weren't really polarizing. A more recent study even found that American's interest in electric had grown during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to EV-friendly policy, respondents asked for a greater variety of all-electric models from automakers. Seven out of 10 said they wanted automakers to offer electric powertrains in more vehicle types, such as pickup trucks and full-size SUVs, while only 4% opposed that idea.
That would seem to be encouraging news for the many automakers developing electric pickups, including Rivian and Tesla, as well as pickup powerhouses Ford and General Motors.