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Americans And Europeans Receptive To Battery Electric Vehicles, But Concerns Remain

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As automakers scramble to produce more and more battery electric vehicles, many questions remain regarding whether or not the majority of consumers are ready to give up their ICE-powered vehicles for an EV. However, EV sales are rising, and a new study indicates that the number of buyers thinking about purchasing one has grown significantly as well, though there are a few caveats.

The study, conducted by OC&C Strategy Consultants, surveyed over 7,500 consumers from around the world, asking them six core questions. One of those questions is what kind of vehicle they’re looking to buy, and in that regard, the future looks bright for battery electric vehicles. Over half of the surveyed consumers in the UK, France, and Italy and nearly half of those in the U.S. and Germany said they would consider a BEV for their next purchase.

Over 40 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would consider buying an EV when they need a new vehicle, and the number of those that reported they will “definitely” or “be likely to” buy a BEV has sharply increased in every country, driven by an improved perception of range and infrastructure.

The number of consumers thinking about buying an EV increased 81 percent in the UK and 61 percent in the U.S., compared to last year’s study. However, there is one large obstacle that survey participants said would likely keep them from buying an EV – price – which overtook infrastructure as the largest barrier to EV ownership.

A full 69 percent of consumers that indicated they were interested in buying an EV said that they would not pay more than a $500 premium over a comparable ICE-powered vehicle to do so. Since most battery electric vehicles cost far more than their ICE counterparts, this statistic highlights why lawmakers and automakers in the U.S. and Europe are targeting even more generous incentives for those that purchase EVs.

We’ll have more on the future of EVs soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing 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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21 Comments

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  1. Until engineers and municipalities address the range, charge availability and charge time issues, this is a major fail. It won’t ever catch on. I don’t care how much of our money government throws at it. No amount of fossil fuel shaming will effect me on my decision.

    Practically-speaking, I have no use for a car that I can’t drive long distances conveniently. There’s a good reason why EVs have never caught on during a trial period lasting over a century.

    • Sure, EVs aren’t the greatest for long trips, but we only DO long trips 2-3% of the time. And gas is costing me over $4 a gallon right now. And operating expenses are 30% of any ICE car. And maintenance is 15-30% of an ICE car. And the EVs are more powerful. EVs are like a spinning top, and ICE cars are like shaking a juice can filled with nuts and bolts back and forth. And burning gas/diesel makes up 30% of the world’s pollution. Do you realize that the ENTIRE parts count of an EV is less than an automatic transmission (which EVs don’t need)? Anyone not considering an EV for their next car just hasn’t thought things through. “The ONLY constant is change.”

      • I own a Mustang Mach E and I was with you right up to the part where you wrote, “Anyone not considering an EV for their next car…”

        A couple of points to make, because @Stephen Ketterer has a good point: driving long distances in an EV *sucks* right now, and it will continue to suck for a long period of time. I just drove from my home in Metro Detroit to a city north of Kalamazoo and back in a single day last week. It took an additional 1.5 hrs to add enough electrons during the journey to get to and from my destination – and I started the trip with a 100% SOC on my battery. Admittedly, I have a “standard range” version of the MME, but nevertheless, environmental conditions were ideal (the outside temp was 75-80 degrees) and *still* a 5 hr trip took 6.5 hrs. That’s just not acceptable for most people. That 2-3% of long-distance driving, when it happens, is a big deal.

        Moreover, the longer the trip, the bigger a pain in the a$$ it becomes. DC Fast Charging is limited by Ford to 80% of the battery’s capacity (it’s still charging above 80%, but the rate goes down by 90% or more). Other OEMs are a little less conservative in their approaches to charging, but only as a matter of degree – the “cliff” is still there.

        I am a huge fan of EVs and I love my Mustang Mach E. I would buy it again in a heartbeat. But papering over the clear deficiencies of BEVs doesn’t serve to win hearts and minds. It just makes fans look like complete morons.

      • I could care less about part counts and pollution. I just want to know if the vehicle will get me to where I want to go as cheaply (including the upfront cost) and effectively as an ICE vehicle and a full recharge will take no longer than filling up my tank. BTW future Evs may very well make use of some sort of transmission to extend range and improve drivability.

      • Steven: But alas, we DO take long trips is my point. And, spare me the spinning top and juice can analogies. Gaslighting never worked with me.

        It’ll take you 2 days to drive across average size states and me hours. Cost of ownership doesn’t matter if you’re paying twice as much for a car you drive only half the time.

        The only reason we’re having this conversation is because rich ideologues want to become even richer by selling you a falling sky.

  2. Just like wind and solar renewables the only way to get participation or interest is by government subsidies which of course is our tax dollars that would be better spent elsewhere like better roads and bridges and roads that are better aligned to moving traffic more efficiently while avoiding large metro areas.

    • Exactly. And add to this the fact that BEVs are, on average, hundreds of pounds heavier than ICE vehicles. These communist Democrats are already working on a mileage tax to fleece us even more. There’ll be no escape from the financial pain they want to inflict all in the name of “climate change”.

      Also, the mainstream media is not going to keep a running tab on grid blackouts from multiple owners charging their BEVs concurrently. We already have problems with our antiquated infrastructure without EVs.

      • I have read at least two studies on cost of ownership of EVs vs ICEs. The scale does not start tipping in favour of the EV until well after 100K miles. That’s only if a replacement battery isn’t required. The initial cost of the vehicle, the installation of a home charger plus no is talking about what public charging is costing and then there is the lost time while U wait for the charge. Plus U alluded to, the infrastructure doesn’t yet exist for the added GW required for all the charging stations that will be required for all the purposed EVs. It’s all a fallacy that will ultimately be paid for by taxpayer dollars and will accomplish destroying the middle class while the rich get richer and poor will be even poorer.

  3. My Focus ST is all the car I’ll need for at least the next five years, and despite really wanting a BEV, I simply cannot make an argument for investing in one. And then only if the concerns posted by S. Ketterer have been answered. Otherwise, I’d be forced to keep my ST as an alternative to the BEV, and I really have no desire to buy a BEV under those circumstances; however, if the federal government would realign money designated for distribution to foreign governments — putting it into rebates for Americans buying battery electric vehicles thereby making them roughly half as expensive as they currently are, then I’d be a candidate for a BEV. Say a $30,000 rebate instead of $3,000. Laugh if you will, but it would be no more difficult for Congress to make that adjustment than it would for me to purchase a BEV unless they do so. Opportunity cost cannot be wished away.

  4. Price is not a correct limitation because some buy more expensive gas cars and nobody complains. Longterm ownership favors electrics because there is NO schedule maintenance except rotating tires, and energy cost is much less. Just calculate the cost per mile. Besides, over 75% travel less than 100 miles a day and every electric can cover that. If you need to drive a few times over 100 miles, rent a hybrid.

  5. No one has mentioned what is going to happen to the road taxes! These BEV will be charged an enhanced licensing fee as fuel revenue (gas taxes) will be sorely deminished. With that the politicians will have a new hayday incorporating/devising new taxes on the BEV’s that we haven’t seen yet. Possibly a annual mileage fee tacked on to the licensing fee.

  6. If the climate ninnies get their way and we abandon reliable means of producing electricity (natural gas, coal, nuclear), the notion of adding millions of vehicles to our grid is absolutely preposterous. Until we agree on an electricity profile that balances reliability, efficiency, cost and ‘sustainability’ then it really is best to keep how we fuel transportation separate from how we power our homes and buildings. I have no doubt that our elected officials will screw it all up, so I will stick with ICE vehicles as long as possible.

  7. In most cases is really doesn’t pay one to be an early adopter of any new tech. Largely due to the fact that many of the issues associated with early adoption, particularly in this case, they don’t take into consideration many of the issues mentioned above.

    Look how long it took for people to accept recycling plastics. Once that became habit, now there’s too much plastic for anyone to do anything with except add it to landfills…or the oceans of the world.

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