A growing number of American motorists are considering buying or leasing electric vehicles (EVs), according to a new survey from US non-profit Consumer Reports.
The study revealed that 71 percent of Americans expressed some level of interest in buying or leasing an electric-only vehicle, with 14 percent saying they would “definitely” buy or lease one if they were to get a vehicle today – up by 10 percent from the consumer group’s 2020 survey.
Another 22 percent of respondents were “seriously considering” an EV, while 35 percent said they “might” consider one.
“A growing number of people want clean cars that cost less to drive – getting to say goodbye to the gas pump is a big factor for people considering electric vehicles,” said Dr Quinta Warren, Associate Director of Sustainability Policy for Consumer Reports.
“Our findings suggest automakers and policymakers need to do more to address concerns about charging and costs, and educate people about the available savings and incentives for EVs.”
The main concerns voiced by consumers were range anxiety – how far they can drive before needing to recharge – and the costs associated with buying and maintaining an EV.
Fifty-three percent of the 8,027 survey respondents said that tax rebates or discounts at the time of purchase would encourage them to buy.
But just 46 percent were aware of the state and federal incentives available for EV buyers.
Currently, a federal tax credit of up to US$7,500 is available for the purchase of most EVs, and many states, including California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Oregon, offer incentives as well.
In April 2022, Michigan awarded US$577,000 in grants to expand charging infrastructure and increase access to EVs across the state.
Cities have also stepped up efforts to entice drivers towards EVs.
Last month, Seattle announced that city residents can request a charger near their home, if they own an EV or plan to purchase one within the next year.
The programme, run by the city’s electric utility, City Light, will install public kerbside chargers on utility poles or standalone points at 30 locations.
Chargers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with each unit able to provide a typical EV with almost 50 kilometres of range per hour of charge time.
There are currently more than 48,000 public EV-charging locations across the US, but Consumer Reports said low- and moderate-income communities need greater access.
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