About half of US adults express little to no likelihood of considering purchasing electric vehicles (EV), and an additional 13% indicate no plans to purchase any vehicle at all. This represents a 4-percentage point decrease in the share of the public interested in buying an EV compared to May 2022.
In an effort to boost EV adoption, the Biden administration introduced various measures such as tax credits for EV buyers and emissions limits for car manufacturers. Major automakers also increased their production of EVs, resulting in a significant rise in the share of new US car sales accounted for by electric vehicles, which now stands at 8.5%.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, younger adults, individuals residing in urban areas show more interest in purchasing an EV. Among this group, around 68% express a strong likelihood of seriously considering an EV for their next purchase.
Among those interested in purchasing an EV, approximately 70% consider helping the environment and saving money on gas as significant factors influencing their decision. A smaller percentage (12%) mentions keeping up with the latest vehicle trends as a major reason.
EXPECTATIONS FOR EV INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
The availability of public charging stations is seen as a potential obstacle to wider EV adoption. Currently, most EV owners primarily charge their vehicles at home, while some encounter issues with the reliability and limited number of public chargers. To address this concern, the Biden administration allocated $5 billion in September 2022 for the establishment of an EV charging station network.
However, Americans express limited confidence in the country’s ability to build the necessary infrastructure to support a large number of EVs on the roads. Only 17% express extreme or high confidence in this endeavour, while 30% express some confidence. In contrast, 53% feel not very or not at all confident.
Republicans and GOP leaners are particularly sceptical about the U.S.’s ability to develop the charging stations and infrastructure required for EVs, with 74% expressing little to no confidence. In comparison, 34% of Democrats and Democratic leaners share the same doubts.
Those who have confidence in the country’s infrastructure development are more likely to consider purchasing an EV. Among those extremely or very confident, 68% indicate at least some likelihood of considering an EV. On the other hand, only 19% of those not very or not at all confident in future EV infrastructure express a similar inclination.
VIEWS ON PHASING OUT GASOLINE VEHICLES
President Joe Biden’s climate agenda includes accelerating the transition to EVs, with proposals for emission limits that would reduce the sale of gas-powered cars and trucks. Some states have gone further, planning to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
However, the notion of phasing out the production of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 faces more opposition than support among the American public. About 59% express opposition to this idea, while 40% are in favour.
Support for phasing out gas-powered vehicles has declined by 7 percentage points since 2021, with decreasing support observed among both Democrats and Republicans. While a majority of Democrats (64%) favour this transition by 2035, 84% of Republicans oppose it.
Partisans also exhibit different emotional reactions to the idea of ending the production of gas-powered vehicles. A clear majority of Republicans (73%) report feeling upset about it, whereas Democrats’ views are more varied, with 37% feeling excited, 43% feeling neutral, and 20% feeling upset.