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Two-Thirds of Americans Don’t Want an EV

Two-Thirds of Americans Don’t Want an EV

Lack of charging infrastructure is the main reason why U.S. consumers plan to stick with the familiar ICE vehicle.

January 18, 2022

EVs on the lot

NEW YORK—Close to two-thirds of U.S. consumers would not choose an electric vehicle, hybrid or other alternative power vehicle and would instead pick an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, according to a recent Deloitte survey. EV limitations continue to draw many would-be vehicle buyers to familiar internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, says Deloitte.

EV sales did gain some ground last year. Sales rose 88% year over year in 2021, but EVs still only account for about 3.2% of the total U.S. car market, according to research firm Motor Intelligence.

Additionally, consumer willingness to pay for advanced technologies remains limited. Despite a growing interest in sustainability globally, more than half (53%) of U.S. consumers are unwilling to pay more than $500 for alternative engine solutions, according to Deloitte’s survey. As a result, ICE vehicles continue to dominate future U.S. vehicle purchase intentions (69%).

Twenty percent of Americans say that driving range is the top concern about EVs. U.S. consumers expect fully charged EVs to travel upward of 500 miles, while consumers in China, Japan and India are content with a range of about 250 miles.

Those who do choose to purchase an EV expect to charge their vehicles at home, with 75% of U.S. EV owners plugging in at home. Among those planning to charge their vehicles at home, two-thirds (66%) of Americans will leverage traditional power grids.

“The automotive industry continues to prove its resiliency as the pandemic impacted virtually every aspect of the business. Despite these challenges, the industry remained remarkably committed to electric mobility. The growing interest among consumers to be more sustainable, along with rising fossil fuel costs, create a compelling opportunity for EV manufacturers. Global automakers should communicate this value proposition for consumers and strengthen the requisite charging infrastructure to further drive their success in the market and enable a truly electrified future,” said Karen Bowman, vice chair, Deloitte LLP and U.S. automotive leader.

BP says that its fast electric vehicle chargers are closest to becoming more profitable than filling up an ICE car, reports Reuters. EV charging is not a profitable business for bp and its rivals, as they invest heavily in the sector.

BP rival Shell has a goal of 500,000 charging points globally by 2025. Earlier this month, it opened its first ultra-fast EV charging station in London, which can charge 80% of a car battery in 10 minutes.

"If I think about a tank of fuel versus a fast charge, we are nearing a place where the business fundamentals on the fast charge are better than they are on the fuel," bp's head of customers and products Emma Delaney told Reuters, and she added that increased demand for fast chargers in Britain and Europe has already brought profit margins close to those for traditional petrol filling.

Although EV sales may be rising, consumers are still leery over the U.S.’s fledgling charging infrastructure, as it continues to be a roadblock in EV adoption in the United States. Shortly after election, President Biden unveiled an electric car plan that said half of all new cars sold in the United States will be electric by 2030. But in order for that plan to become a reality, energy and auto experts say the U.S. needs at least five to 10 times its current amount of EV chargers to bring the plan to fruition.

Read more about the obstacles to EV adoption from a convenience retailer perspective in “A Hurdle to Overcome” in the September issue of NACS Magazine.

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