High gas prices help make the case for electric cars, but even before prices spiked, many Americans were giving EVs some level of consideration, according to a newly released Consumer Reports survey.
Of those surveyed, 71% showed at least some interest in buying or leasing an EV. Among those respondents, 35% said they "might" consider an EV is they needed a new vehicle today, 22% said they would "seriously consider" one, and 14% said they would "definitely" buy or lease an EV.
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Redline Edition
Compared to a 2020 survey from CR, about as many shoppers say they would consider an EV as before, but more are in the "definitely" or "seriously" consider stages. Just 4% of respondents said they would definitely buy or lease an EV in the 2020 survey.
But the real zinger of this latest survey is that it was conducted before the recent gas-price spike. The survey was done from January 27 to February 18, when the national average gas price increased from about $3.34 to $3.52 per gallon," CR noted in a press release discussing the results, adding that AAA calculates the current national average gas price at $4.87 per gallon.
2023 Nissan Leaf
This all runs counter to a study out earlier this year from Deloitte, maintaining that about two thirds of Americans don't want an EV yet and half won't pay extra for any form of electrification. Meanwhile, other analysts, such as those at the consulting firm AutoPacific, suggest that the sheer number of new EV nameplates has led to greater EV awareness—and intention. So it may not be entirely down to gas prices.
Not all current trends are working in favor of EVs. Another study released earlier thus year by Plug In America found that EV "intenders" ranked cost savings and convenience higher on their lists of priorities than current EV owners. As EV prices—along with those of other new cars—rise amid supplier issues, that could become an obstacle to continued sales growth.