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May 27, 2022

Study Reveals Why People Are Buying EVs And Why Some Are Still Skeptical

U.S.-based J.D. Power has released a study which could prove to be valuable to companies amidst an EV shift.

The U.S. Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study gauges EV shopping consideration taking into account demographics, vehicle experience, lifestyle, and more. It also includes primary reasons for EV rejection.

In the 2022 report, the percentage of shoppers who say they are “very likely” to consider an EV for their next purchase or lease climbs to 24 percent, four percentage points higher than a year ago. Several factors are at work in prompting the increase, but the introduction of new electric models—some of which are in an important and largely untapped segment such as pickup trucks—is a primary reason for the increased consumer interest.

Because EVs are still more expensive versus their combustion engine counterparts, EV consideration ranks higher among premium buyers. Some 37 percent of premium vehicle owners indicate that they are “very likely” to consider an EV compared to just 21 percent of mass market vehicles. That said, EV consideration among mass market vehicles is on the rise—up six percentage points from last year.

When it comes to home ownership, there is a substantially higher ratio of shoppers who own their home who say they are “very likely to consider” an EV (27 percent) than those who rent (17 percent). Not only are homeowners more affluent, on average, but are more likely to be able to charge an EV at their residence. Perhaps most tellingly, 34 percent of those who indicate they are unlikely to consider purchasing an EV say they lack access to any charging capabilities at home or work.

As more vehicle owners drive, the more they are likely to consider an EV. While daily commuters who are encountering higher fuel prices are logical candidates to switch to EVs, those who take frequent vacations and road trips might be assumed to be less likely to adopt EVs. But, like heavy commuters, heavy road-trippers have a higher EV purchase consideration tendency than those who use their vehicles less often for this purpose. It could be an indication that frequent drivers are increasingly seeing the advantages of EVs compared with their gasoline-powered counterparts.

Still, as the number of EV models proliferates, auto manufacturers must seek to convert the large percentage of EV shoppers who say they are “somewhat likely” to consider into actual customers. The study points out a key opportunity to accomplish that: expose EVs to those shoppers who have never driven, ridden in or even sat in such a vehicle.

The 2022 study reveals that firsthand experience with EVs plays an important role in purchase consideration. Only 11 percent of study respondents who had no personal experience at all with EVs say they are “very likely” to consider an EV. That percentage more than doubles to 24 percent among those new-vehicle shoppers who have simply been a passenger in an EV and rises to 34 percent among those who have driven an EV. Owners of EVs are also sold on the technology, as 48 percent of owners say they are “very likely” to consider another EV for their next vehicle purchase.

The lack of information about EVs is a key factor in shoppers’ rejection of them. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of rejecters cite a lack of information as a reason for their lack of consideration. Because firsthand experience with EV technology is still not entirely commonplace, shoppers need to be better informed about the ownership experience they offer.

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