Poll: Majority of Americans unlikely to get an EV

Most Americans are unlikely to buy an EV as their next car, yet a slim majority of Americans support government incentives for those that do want to go electric, according to a recent Ipsos/Yahoo Finance survey.

The survey, based on what Ipsos described as a “nationally representative probability sample of 1,025 general population adults age 18 or older,” found that only 31% of Americans are likely to purchase an EV as their next vehicle.

Likelihood of EV interest varied based on a number of factors. For instance, those with college degrees were more likely to consider an EV than those with a high school diploma or less, at 47% and 18%, respectively. In addition, 60% of respondents that had an annual income below $50,000 and 76% of those that identified as Republicans reported that they were unlikely to buy an EV as their next car.

2023 Tesla Model Y - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2023 Tesla Model Y – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Age is another major factor. Millennials (40%) and Get Xers (33%) are much more likely to consider an EV than Baby Boomers (22%), the survey found. This echoes results of previous surveys, with Baby Boomers as the generation most opposed to EVs but the generations older and younger than them keener on EVs.

Despite divided views on EVs, the survey found Americans were generally supportive of government policies that encourage EV adoption. Just over half (52%) said they support “government incentive programs to encourage EV purchases,” while 54% said they supported “government programs to reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.”

However, 61% of respondents also opposed restrictions on the sale of new gasoline cars. Americans only want policies reducing fossil-fuel use and encouraging EVs to go so far, it seems.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Limited AWD

2023 Toyota bZ4X Limited AWD

Another study published earlier this year also found a sharp divide on whether to phase out fossil fuels, with 68% of Americans opposing it and 31% supporting it. However, a 2021 study found that, overall, Americans see EVs as better for the environment, despite a partisan divide.

The results also hint that EV supporters haven’t taken a good look at the market lately. Of those considering an EV, 30% listed Toyota as their brand of choice despite that automaker only having one electric model in its U.S. lineup. Toyota was followed by Tesla (23%), Honda (20%), General Motors (15%), and Ford (14%). It’s also unclear if consumers will actually drive away with an EV when confronted with current prices. A Deloitte survey from early 2022 underscored that Americans won’t pay extra for electrified vehicles.

Building up interest in EVs may also rely on getting more people to try them. A 2020 survey found that 70% of Americans had never even been inside an electric vehicle, and that this led to negative misconceptions about EVs.

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