Nearly half of Americans are ready to ditch cars that run entirely on gasoline.

Nearly half of Americans are ready to ditch cars that run entirely on gasoline.

According to a new Ernst & Young survey, 48% of new car buyers say they plan to get a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full EV, but an unexpected adoption barrier has emerged.

(Credit: baona/Getty Images)

The electric vehicle revolution is accelerating, with more Americans than ever looking to move away from cars that run entirely on gasoline, according to a new study.

Ernst & Young (EY) surveyed(Opens in a new window) 15,000 consumers in 20 different countries who intend to buy a vehicle in the next 24 months, as part of its annual Consumer Mobility Index (MCI). The results show that US consumer interest in electric vehicles is at an all-time high with nearly half (48%) saying their next car will be a hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or fully electric vehicle.

That represents a 19% increase from last year’s survey, a larger jump than in many other countries surveyed. “This year’s data shows that the US is at a real precipice when it comes to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,” says Steve Patton, EY Americas Mobility Sector Leader. “We can expect to see more electric vehicles, both commercial and consumer, on the road.”

The US, which has historically lagged(opens in a new window) behind China and the EU in EV adoption, jumped five places on the list, the biggest jump for any country, to number seven. China, Norway and Sweden occupy the first three places.

Top 10 countries ranked by consumer readiness for EVs:

  1. Porcelain

  2. Norway

  3. Sweden

  4. Germany

  5. United Kingdom

  6. South Korea

  7. US

  8. Netherlands

  9. Spain

  10. France

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“These top 10 are based on regulatory (investment for the charging and battery ecosystem and ICE phase-out), supply (factory development and charging infrastructure) and demand (mobility consumer behavior and fleet adoption)” factors. , Elizabeth Feigenbaum, EY Public Relations Deputy Director, told PCMag.

More respondents are interested in a full EV (22%) than a hybrid (15%) or PHEV (12%), the study found. The 48% figure is a combination of all three and represents all consumers interested in electrification at any level. But remember, this represents the purchase intention alone, and all-electric cars still account for just 7% of total new car sales in the US.

Confidence in the performance of all-electric vehicles has grown over the years, the study shows. These days, 29% of US car buyers are considering an EV because they believe EVs get over Vehicles with internal combustion engine (ICE). Electric vehicles are known for quicker acceleration, smooth handling, and sophisticated software.

Graph of interest in EVs

(Credit: Ernst & Young Mobility Consumer Index (MCI) 2023)

Respondents’ number one concern about going electric is a familiar one: the limited availability of public chargers, which has been a consistent barrier to EV adoption. “More than half (51%) of US consumers are more concerned with finding a charging station in non-residential facilities than high charging costs,” says EY.

But a surprising concern related to charging also emerged from the survey: More than half (57%) of respondents in the US cited the dangers of home charging as a key deterrent to owning an electric vehicle. . This was 10% higher than respondents in other countries, which might suggest it is a matter of perception rather than electrical or battery issues, although both are likely involved.

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When it comes to the type of vehicle that most interests American buyers, their preferences are clear: 38% of those surveyed prefer SUVs to sedans or other types of vehicles.

And more in the US plan to buy: “In 2023, the proportion of existing car owners who intend to buy new cars in the US showed an increase of 3%, and the US showed significantly higher car purchase intent (12% to 60% growth) compared to the global average (which held steady year-over-year at 44%),” the study found.

It sounds like you can expect more electric SUVs to hit the road in the coming years, like the Tesla Model Y, Volvo EX30, and Hyundai Kona Electric.

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