Consumers Are Cool on Electric Vehicle Purchases

A survey finds that consumers’ interest in EVs is growing but at a slower pace than some hope.

Jim Henry, Contributor

January 10, 2023

2 Min Read
0104Deloitte
“We can see the needle moving. That’s the ‘glass-half-full’ perspective," says Deloitte's Robinson.Getty Images

Shopper consideration is rising for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), but it still lags behind manufacturers’ expectations. Deloitte consumer research shows it’s questionable whether consideration is growing high or fast enough to support automakers’ goals, including that more than half of new vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 are BEVs.

One example is Ford Motor Co., which plans to have BEVs comprise more than half of its global production by 2030.

“We can see the needle moving,” says Ryan Robinson, automotive research leader for Deloitte, a research and consulting firm, tells Wards. “That’s the ‘glass-half-full’ perspective.”

For example, 62% of U.S. respondents in the latest Deloitte survey say they prefer their subsequent vehicle purchases to have gasoline or diesel internal-combustion engines, down from 68% a year earlier. 

Conversely, shoppers increasingly prefer hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs), and BEVs — but primarily for hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs).

Just 8% of respondents in the latest survey express BEV preferences, up from 5% a year ago. That’s in line with the actual 2022 BEV purchases in some metro U.S. areas. Robinson says that preference for PHEVs was the same, but respondents that prefer “traditional” HEVs totals 20%, up from 17% a year ago.

Robinson defines the ‘glass-half-empty’ as the share of people with the most intent to buy BEVs. That number remains at t8%, about the actual sales total.

In a survey Deloitte fielded in September 2022 to more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, respondents cite familiar concerns for not considering BEVs. Topping the list is cost, range, the time required to charge and the lack of public charging infrastructure.

The survey finds that most potential EV buyers expect to pay less than $50,000 for their next vehicle. That might not be realistic until manufacturers deliver on plans to introduce more mass-market BEVs.

For the U.S. new-vehicle market as a whole, including vehicles with internal-combustion engines, the average transaction price is already approaching $50,000, thanks to low supply and high demand. BEVs could be in for “affordability risk,” Deloitte says.

Robinson says that while demand for HEVs  looks strong, “Clearly, we are not moving the needle for people intending to move to a battery-electric as their next ride.”

 

 

About the Author(s)

Jim Henry

Contributor

Jim Henry is a freelance writer and editor, a veteran reporter on the auto retail beat, with decades of experience writing for Automotive News, WardsAuto, Forbes.com, and others. He's an alumnus of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead-Cain Scholar. 

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