With their documented ability to cut fuel bills and greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the use of fossil fuels, electric vehicles (EVs) would seem a no-brainer for green-minded consumers and corporations alike. Yet the EV adoption rate in this country has been dishearteningly slow. A recent survey by Boston-based consulting group Altman Vilandrie & Co. offers some insights into the reasons for the sluggish uptake.
The survey, conducted among 2,500 U.S. consumers in July, indicated that three major hurdles stand in the way of widespread EV adoption: a perceived lack of charging stations (85 percent), high costs (83 percent), and uncertainty over duration of charge (74 percent). That was compounded by a general lack of awareness of the vehicles. Despite significant advancements in EV technology, 60 percent of American drivers said they were unfamiliar with electric cars, and 80 percent have never ridden in or driven one.
That might sound like a gloomy outlook for electric cars and trucks, but the study also gave EV advocates cause for hope. The survey found that a clear majority of consumers who have been inside an EV enjoyed it and that many more consumers would purchase an EV if lower-priced models were available, specifically at the $35,000 price point and below.
"While the EV adoption rate is low, there are signs of strong latent demand in the marketplace," Altman Vilandrie & Co. Director Moe Kelley said in a release. "The auto industry still needs to make more low-priced models available to consumers, as well as find a way for more drivers to try out an EV. If those things happen, we should see the EV adoption rate accelerate."