EVs accounted for 2.3 percent of U.S. sales this year through July, according to J.D. Power. But automakers plan to introduce dozens of new models in the coming years. The study indicates that for EV sales to take off, dealers and automakers must educate consumers on maintenance and the cost of ownership, and dealers need more incentives from automakers.
Another 40 percent of the consumers surveyed said they would consider an EV. About two-thirds of respondents who would consider buying an EV said it costs less to charge an EV than to fuel a gasoline vehicle, and 54 percent said an EV costs less to maintain. According to Cox, EV owners save an average of 25 percent on service and 60 percent on fuel over five years.
Range has also expanded faster than consumer understanding. The average consumer drives less than 150 miles per day, and most 2019 EV models have a range of more than 200 miles, according to Cox.
The number of vehicles with a range of at least 300 miles is expected to grow in the next two years.
"Some of the earlier models that were first released were 150 miles or less. But now we're seeing models that are 300 miles plus, which is comparable to gas-powered cars that are on the road," Petusky said. "Most drivers aren't driving more than 150 miles a day, so there's more than enough opportunity for them to charge their vehicle at home, at work or somewhere else where charging is offered in their community."
Some resistance to buying EVs stems from the availability of gasoline, she said. With gas stations widely available, consumers don't have to worry about running out.
"Consumers who are in more urban areas have less of a concern as it pertains to range," Petusky said. "It's more of a rural/suburban concern, which makes sense because they are having longer commutes and also are likely to have less infrastructure support in their local communities."