electric car being charged

The Biggest Reason People aren’t Buying Electric Cars

There is no question that we are in an economically crazy time. With the war in Ukraine coupled with supply chain issues and the typical summer bump in gas prices, the price of gas has skyrocketed. This has many looking to electric cars – yet most Americans still aren’t making the switch. These are the reasons why.

Why Americans Aren’t Ready To Switch To Electric Cars

Electric cars are not a new invention. In fact, they’ve been around for quite some time. Though initially cost prohibitive, now there are more affordable options available on the market. Despite this, and the extreme hike in gas prices, most Americans still say they aren’t ready to make the switch to electric vehicles. So what gives?

Consumer Reports surveyed 8,000 people about their thoughts on buying electric cars. Of those surveyed, only 36% said that they would “definitely” or “seriously consider” buying electric for their next vehicle purchase. The main concerns as to why they wouldn’t aren’t overly surprising. People are worried about the logistics of where and when they could charge an electric vehicle. (1)

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The Numbers

When it comes down to it, most Americans are simply worried that electric cars – and the infrastructure to support them – just aren’t ready. The top concerns that people cited as preventing them from making the jump were as follows:

– 61% charging logistics
– 55% of the number of miles an electric car can go per charge
– 52% of the costs of buying and maintaining electric cars

Other reasons include a global microchip shortage and the risk of battery fire. (2)

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Charging Logistics

Concerns over charging logistics aren’t without reason. Currently, there are about 49,000 public charging stations across the country. Truthfully, that isn’t very many in comparison to the size and population of the United States. President Biden has said that he will build out a national network of 500,000 charging stations, which could help alleviate people’s concerns.

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Number of Miles Per Charge

Naturally, people want to get at least the same mileage out of their electric cars as they do out of their gas ones. The distance that each car can go on one charge is important – especially when there are parts of the country where charging ports are few and far between. After all, no one wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, stranded because their electric car died. That, or have their car die while sitting in traffic. Electric cars now promise better and better distances per charge, but change is difficult and still there are many skeptics.

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Costs

In the beginning, electric cars were essentially luxury-only (hello, Tesla). However, now there are more everyday, economical options like the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Bolt, to name a few. On average, however, electric cars are still higher in price than gas. Electric car advocates argue that you will save money in the long run, however, on service and maintenance costs. Combine that with the current price of gas and you may just be correct.

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“I did a cost breakdown for last year because I had purchased it in January and had it for the entire year, and I ended up spending several thousand dollars less on overall costs of ownership,” said electric car owner Tracy Miersch. (3)

Who Is The Most Likely To Buy An Electric Car?

The survey found that those most likely to purchase electric cars are young men living in urban areas. These men typically have higher education and a higher household income. This is likely because still the average price of electric vehicles is higher than that of regular gas-guzzlers. There are incentives for electric car owners, however, 46% of those surveyed said that they had never heard of them.

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“The survey shows that there is clear interest among Americans in reducing costs for transportation and lowering their environmental impact,” said Quinta Warren, Consumer Reports’ associate director of sustainability policy. “It underscores some key concerns, but fortunately, many of these barriers to owning a battery-electric vehicle EV can be addressed through experience and education.” 

Perhaps as prices continue to go up and as the government continues to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure, more and more Americans will finally decide to make the switch.

Keep Reading: Grandmother Creates Her Own Electric Car For $24,000

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Sources

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  1. Electric car survey finds this as the biggest reason preventing people from buying them.” Fox Business. Greg Norman. July 11.
  2. 4 reasons why electric cars haven’t taken off yet.” We Forum. Douglas Broom. July 8, 2021.
  3. Sky-high gas prices fuel rampant demand for electric vehicles.” Global News. Robert Lothian. May 16, 2022.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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