With the Biden Administration targeting half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be electric or plug-in hybrids, a poll from EPIC and The Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research surveyed Americans’ likelihood to purchase one, as well as what they see as the barriers. About 40 percent of Americans say they would be at least somewhat likely to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) the next time they are in the market for a new car. The bulk of likely future owners are under the age of 45, perhaps signaling a bright future for EVs in the United States. Americans’ likelihood of purchasing an EV decreases with age. Just over a quarter of Americans over 60 said they would be likely to consider purchasing one compared with 55 percent of 18–29-year-olds. Americans from the West Coast are more likely to purchase an EV than Americans from any other region, the survey showed.
However, Americans cite major barriers to purchasing an EV, chief among them being cost. Across income levels, about 8 in 10 Americans cite the cost of new electric vehicles as a reason why they would not buy one, with 6 in 10 saying it is a major reason. However, as the Inflation Reduction Act provides Americans with historic EV tax credits, 6 in 10 say tax breaks would motivate them to purchase an electric vehicle. That said, Americans are also hesitant about purchasing them for a number of other reasons. Regardless of where Americans live—rural, urban or suburban areas—about half are afraid there are not enough charging stations. Forty-percent are holding out for the battery technology to improve, while another 4 in 10 say they simply prefer gas engines.
Consumers’ age is a key factor when evaluating what Americans say are major barriers. For each of the barriers polled, those over 60 were more likely to say each was a major barrier than Americans on average. Meanwhile, there was a more than 10 percentage point gap between the number of 60+ Americans who cited major barriers and those aged 18-29. While about half of 18-29-year-olds still cite cost as a major barrier, and 4 in 10 would like to see more charging stations, only about a third have a major concern about the battery technology not being ready. Just 3 in 10 of those in this younger cohort say they simply prefer gas engines.