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Car Shoppers Still Unsure Of Electric Vehicles, According To J.D. Power Study

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While more car shoppers are turning to electric vehicles than ever, the EV adoption rate in the U.S. still pales in comparison to places like Europe. And according to the first-ever J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Consideration Study, it seems like the majority of Americans are still not sold on the idea of an electric vehicle. However, there are signs that this may change in the coming years.

The study found that 59 percent of new-vehicle shoppers fall into the “somewhat likely” or “somewhat unlikely” categories when it comes to considering a BEV for their next purchase or lease. However, 46 percent of shoppers who have owned or leased an electric vehicle in the past are “very likely” to consider another, while 6 percent say they are “very unlikely” to do so.

Interestingly, 20 percent of those that have simply ridden in electric vehicles say they would be “very likely” to consider purchasing one, versus 7 percent of those that have never ridden in one. A full half of the respondents in the study said they have never ridden in an EV, however. Meanwhile, 34 percent of those who take more than 10 road trips per year fell in the “very likely” to buy category as well.

Premium brand owners are much more likely to consider an EV over mass-market brand owners (36 percent versus 15 percent), while 30 percent of those who aren’t interested in purchasing an electric vehicle cited a lack of information as the driving reason.

Overall, a total of 41 percent of shoppers say they will consider a plug-in hybrid in the next two years, while 27 percent will consider a BEV in the same time frame. Among those folks, 27 percent say Tesla is their top choice, citing performance as the main driver.

J.D. Power surveyed 9,030 U.S. new-vehicle shoppers in the market to purchase or lease within 12 months. The survey was fielded from December 2020 through January 2021.

“Right now, the projected BEV supply outweighs consumer interest,” said Stewart Stropp, senior director, automotive retail at J.D. Power. “And for every new-vehicle shopper seriously considering BEVs, there’s another at the opposite end of the spectrum. To avoid a potential ongoing inventory surplus, it behooves manufacturers and retailers to identify why shoppers in the middle ground aren’t completely sold on the technology, and how to get them over the hump into the ‘very likely’ consideration camp.”

Stropp also noted that one way automakers can convert those on the fence about electric vehicles is to simply figure out a way to get them inside one. “Anything stakeholders can do to get more people into electric vehicles, whether it’s experiential events, take-home test drives, or other proactive efforts will help break down the preconceptions people have about BEVs and drive higher consideration.”

We’ll have more on the state of the EV market soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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12 Comments

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  1. For me, the decision to jump into the Mustang Mach E came down to the combination of features it offers. The first paradigm I had to break was gasoline – most trips I make are local, and entirely within the battery range on a single charge. Having a “full tank” every morning before I leave my garage means I don’t have to stop at the local gas station on the way out or back.

    The second paradigm was the total cost of ownership. While the car payments are about $100/month more for my MME than an equivalent mid-size SUV, my per mile energy cost is about 30-40% lower. I also don’t need to worry about oil changes, and many other common maintenance visits not covered under warranty.

    The third paradigm was that software updates delivered Over The Air (OTA) will make my car better over time: better range, new features, and possibly even faster charging. To some extent, that’s been true of every EV introduced so far, but it is a hallmark of Tesla and Ford has adopted the practice.

    EVs may not yet meet every owner’s use case, but they are increasingly capable of filling the majority of them.

    • FORD decision to bring out a EV SUV the same year as the Bronco Sport, Bronco, Maverick and Bronco truck might be its biggest problem. Lincoln should have showcased A Flagship Luxury Sedan call Continental EV with suicide doors 1st this year and release the MACH E in 2022, it’s not like FORD don’t have enough SUV’s. That way both BRANDS would have gotten spot light, heavy traffic and sales common sense something FORD CEO’s don’t have focused on SUV’s sales only

  2. No, it’s not easy. With gasoline prices under $3/gallon and many folks not driving nearly as much as they did pre-COVID, the financial analysis for EVs makes no sense. PLUS, folks with older homes will need to hire an expensive electrician and possibly foot the bill for an expensive electrical upgrade to get a charging station at-home. PLUS, until I see an EV with 1,000 miles of range or more, fuhgeddaboutit.

  3. Why do we have to be convinced? Why can’t we have a choice. Stop with the EV climate agenda bull crap. Just like any batteries they start to lose life as soon as you start to use them. So your range will always be less and less. And the so call carbon foot print is not any smaller than an ice vehicle.

    • It is not a scam. EVs cost more but last more and spend less. Look up the user manual of any EV and see that there is no maintenance except rotating tires. Fluid replacements will happen after 10 years or more. Wiper blades are the only parts worn. So what is more cost effective, a cheap junker that needs maintenance every week, or an EV that needs nothing for decades?

      • Do you live on the east coast where it’s freezing temps several months of the year and , oh it’s pointless debating tards.

  4. Any home with electricity can charge an EV. No need for any “expensive electricians”. The best deal is that you “fuel” it at home while you rest or sleep. Do you get gasoline piped in your home, or even get it free from the sky? Electricity is cheaper, cleaner and safer, plus some can get it for free from the Sun.

    I see that you are not even a driver because no gas car has 1,000 miles of range, either. And who is stupid to drive 1,000 miles anyway!

  5. I gotta admit a BEV would serve most of my driving needs. I’m retired, and don’t drive as much as I used to. But for road trips, I’d need full charge in 10 minutes or less like fueling an ICE vehicle. Range is moot if driving cross country- stop every 250-300 mi for a 4+ hr charge?

  6. ICE or EV that is the question. Yes ice’s can go farther with refueling, but what if EV’s could go further continuously such as efficient solar charged cars . Magnetic levitating trains are electric, don’t pollute and travel 250 to 300 plus mph, reducing the need for hundreds of jets polluting the air and our ears daily. EV planes aren’t practical yet and may never be safe. Hydrogen ice’s could be a lower emission alternative but where do you get all that gas but from water. The shuttle (remember those) used compressed hydrogen and oxygen to attain space. Natural gas has possibilities and can be refueled at home for local travel, same as EV’s. For more rapid flight across the globe, aircraft can fly outside the atmosphere using scram jet engines and are not subject to the same gravity we all know. If you think this is science fiction, guess again. All these modes of transportation have been considered at some point in time.

  7. Not yet!
    1) There isn’t an EV built today that has a exterior design I would be interested in.
    2) The EV charging network would have to be widely available on rural routes not just major
    roadways.
    3) Charging times for a 100% charge, not just 80%, will need to be achieved in about 10 minutes.
    4) When the battery storage capacity has at least doubled over what is currently available.

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