Study:Electric Vehicle Consideration On the Rise, but Mass EV Adoption Still Has Challenges

Jessica Shea Choksey | May 26, 2022

According to the newly released J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study, American car shoppers are more open than ever to considering buying an all-electric vehicle (EV). The study, now in its second year, asserts that new electric-vehicle offerings from well-known automotive brands are helping to lessen skepticism and anxiety while encouraging consumers to take a serious look at EVs in their purchase decisions.

2022 Kia EV6 Plugged In and Charging

The percentage of shoppers who say they are "very likely" to consider an EV for their next purchase or lease has climbed to 24 percent—4 percentage points higher than a year ago. Several reasons may contribute to the increase, including the introduction of new electric-vehicle segments such as pickup trucks and the overall cost of fuel.

"The addition of new EV models has moved the needle on consumer consideration," said Stewart Stropp, senior director of automotive retail at J.D. Power. "In fact, several new models from perennial mass-market brands are at the top of that consideration list. Even so, more remains to be done in terms of transitioning from early to mass adoption."

The challenge for car manufacturers is to find ways to turn those who are "somewhat likely" buyers into actual buyers. The study reveals that familiarity with EVs is the key to making that shift. Only 11 percent of study respondents who had no personal experience with EVs say they are "very likely" to consider an EV. However, that percentage more than doubles to 24 percent among those new-vehicle shoppers who have simply been a passenger in an EV. It rises to 34 percent among those who have been behind the steering wheel of an electric car. Even more convinced are current EV owners, of whom almost half say they are "very likely" to consider an electric vehicle for their next purchase.

"Though the study findings show a shift in favor of EVs, about 76 percent of new-vehicle shoppers say they are not very likely to consider buying one," continued Stropp. "With new EV model introductions coming at a rapid pace, automakers must continue their efforts to persuade more shoppers to give these vehicles a try."

The most significant obstacle to EV adoption revolves around living and working situations. The study indicates that 34 percent of those unlikely to consider purchasing an EV say they lack access to any charging capabilities at home or work. This hurdle is more prevalent among renters than homeowners.

Following are key findings of the 2022 study:

  • EV consideration is stronger among premium buyers. Some 37 percent of premium vehicle owners indicate they are "very likely" to consider an EV for their next purchase vs. just 21 percent among those who currently own mass-market vehicles.
  • EV consideration by owners of mass-market vehicles is on the rise. Premium vehicle owners may remain more likely to consider EVs, but owners of mass-market vehicles increasingly register an interest in buying an EV.
  • Lack of information about EVs is a key factor in shoppers' rejection of them. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of rejecters cite a lack of information for their lack of consideration. In other words, EV education remains the cornerstone of EV adoption.
  • Not surprisingly, shoppers in the western United States show the highest interest in purchasing an EV. Some 31 percent of those in the West say they are "very likely" to consider an EV. Unexpectedly, the South (26 percent) came in second over the Northeast (22 percent) among those who say they are "very likely" to consider an EV.

The EVC Study is an industry benchmark for gauging EV shopper consideration that factors overall EV consideration by geography, demographics, vehicle use, and other criteria. This year's study measured responses from 10,030 consumers from February through April 2022.

J.D. Power is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on May 26, 2022, but it may have changed since that date.

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