Study: US Drivers Want More Accessible, Longer-Range EVs
Jan. 26, 2022—Despite pushes from major automakers and the federal government, the general U.S. public is still highly skeptical of the feasibility of electric vehicles in the near-term future.
Automakers such as Ford and General Motors have been heavily touting all-electric futures, with both companies spending billions of dollars on facilities across the country to develop and manufacture EVs. Despite those investments and extensive marketing campaigns centered around clean, environmentally conscious vehicles, a global automotive consumer study from Deloitte found a clean-driving vehicle isn't necessarily the only priority for American drivers.
"Consumer interest in electrified vehicles (EVs) centers on the perception of lower fuel costs, environmental consciousness, and a better driving experience," the report said. "However, driving range and lack of available charging infrastructure remain barriers to adoption."
Going green is something that some drivers want to do, but that desire doesn't outweigh the need for the comfort and convenience that has become standard in ICE vehicles.
"ICE still dominates future intentions in the U.S.," the report said. "For the most part, people are drawn to an EV because of an expectation of lower fuel costs, or they are concerned about climate change and want to reduce emissions."
According to the survey, almost 70 percent of U.S. respondents still plan on purchasing an ICE-powered vehicle for the next car. Only 10 percent said they'd be interested in purchasing either a plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle.
As mentioned earlier, the lack of a reliable, robust and accessible charging network is one of the key hurdles in make EVs a mainstay. Around 75 percent of respondents said their home would be the most preferable spot to charge their vehicle, but more than 60 percent of respondents also said they aren't planning on charging at home because the cost to install a personal charger is prohibitive or they're unsure of how to install one.
More over on the accessibility side, more than 30 percent of respondents say they'd reconsider the decision to purchase an EV if the cost of charging in public spaces was similar to the price of filling up an ICE-powered vehicle with gas.
Price, range and convenience seem to be the two most important factors for American drivers when considering the switch to an EV. Around 57 percent of respondents say the greatest concern when looking at BEVs is either driving range, lack of public charging infrastructure, cost for both charging and purchasing the vehicle in the first place, and the time necessary to fully charge the vehicle.
Perhaps most interesting in the study, though, is the point that U.S. drivers expect the range of a fully charged BEV to surpass the 500-mile mark. According to Cars.com, only one vehicle—the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition—meets that expectation, sporting a 520-mile range. Unfortunately, in order to get that kind of range, Lucid is charging around $170,000 for the vehicle. The next closest vehicle, the Tesla Model S, has a significant drop-off in range, maxing out at 405 miles. Though it's significantly cheaper than the Air, the Model S will still run buyers almost six figures—the base model starts at $97,000.
Per the report, only one of the 10 EVs listed comes in below $50,000—the Tesla Model 3 just barely squeaks below that line at around $47,000, and its range barely tops 350 miles.
Though EVs are making significant progress in becoming more viable, studies such as Deloitte's show that they still have a long way to go before reaching mainstream feasibility.