Many Americans aren’t yet sold on going electric for their next cars, a new poll shows, with high prices and too few charging stations the main deterrents. About 4 in 10 U.S. adults are at least somewhat likely to switch, but the history-making shift from the country’s century-plus love affair with gas-driven vehicles still has a ways to travel.
The poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago shows that the Biden administration’s plans to dramatically raise U.S. EV sales could run into resistance from consumers. Only 8% of U.S. adults say they or someone in their household owns or leases an electric vehicle, and just 8% say their household has a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Even with tax credits of up to $7,500 to buy a new EV, it could be difficult to persuade drivers to ditch their gas-burning cars and trucks for vehicles without tailpipe emissions.
Auto companies are investing billions in factories and battery technology in an effort to speed up the switch to EVs to cut pollution and fight climate change. Under a greenhouse gas emissions proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency, about two-thirds of all new vehicle sales could have to be EVs by 2032. President Joe Biden has set a goal that up to half of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030 to cut emissions and fight climate change.
But only 19% of U.S. adults say it’s “very” or “extremely” likely they would purchase an electric vehicle the next time they buy a car, according to the poll, and 22% say it’s somewhat likely. About half — 47% — say it’s not likely they would go electric.
Six in 10 said the high cost is a major reason they wouldn’t and about a quarter cited it as a minor reason. Only 16% said the high cost would not be a factor in rejecting the EV.