U.S. consumer interest in purchasing electric vehicles is growing fast, but Americans still remain less confident in the technology than their overseas counterparts, according to a study by the EY consulting and accounting firm.
More than 20 percent of Americans surveyed by EY in March and April said they would consider a battery-electric vehicle for their next car purchase, up 15 percent from a year earlier, the most significant leap in the study. Nearly half said they’d consider an electrified vehicle — which includes plug-ins and hybrids — up 19 percent from a year earlier, also the biggest increase in the category of the 2023 EY Mobility Consumer Index. The index included responses from 15,000 consumers globally. About 1,500 respondents were U.S. consumers.
EV-friendly policies in the U.S., such as the Inflation Reduction Act, have accelerated interest, EY said, but the U.S. still trails much of the world in EV consideration. Car buyers in Norway, China, Singapore, India, Sweden, South Korea and Austria were more likely to consider a BEV than U.S. consumers.
More than half of consumers globally said they would buy an electrified vehicle. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they would pay a premium for EVs, up from 80 percent a year earlier. Most said they would pay a premium of 11 to 20 percent.
EY found high fuel costs were the top motivation for purchasing an EV. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. was $3.48 at the end of March, when the survey was fielded, according to AAA.
Combined with government support, the fuel prices could continue to push EV consideration, said Randy Miller, EY’s global advanced manufacturing and mobility leader.
“China ended its subsidies in 2022 yet had continued to see EV momentum,” Miller said. “The real challenge for manufacturers is whether consumer inclination toward EVs will persist and what measures will need to be taken in the event that fuel prices decrease.”