Fuels

Hybrid Vehicles Could Bridge the Gap Between EVs and Consumer Trepidation

Cost, lack of convenient charging options and range anxiety are main EV concerns
Hybrid car
Photograph: Shutterstock

Consumers are more hesitant than a year ago to buy an electric vehicle (EV), the top three reasons being cost, lack of convenient charging options and range anxiety, according to a consumer survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA), Heathrow, Florida.

Down from 23% last year, 18% of U.S. adults said they would be “very likely” or “likely” to buy a new or used EV (not a hybrid). Sixty-three percent said they were “unlikely” or “very unlikely” to purchase an EV as their next car.

“Early adopters who wanted an EV already have one,” said Greg Brannon, director of automotive research at AAA. “The remaining group of people who have yet to adopt EVs consider the practicality, cost, convenience and ownership experience, and for some, those are big enough hurdles to keep them from making the jump to fully electric.”

AAA

Three in 10 consumers also cited the inability to install a charging station where they live. For people who live in an apartment or condo, at-home charging options are likely not possible, according to AAA. An EV might be a great choice for households with two or more cars, but it might not fit the consumer who has to rely on their car for everyday use and travel.

While AAA projects a near-term ceiling of consumer EV adoption, hybrid options could bridge the gap. One in three U.S. adults (31%) say they would be “very likely” or “likely” to buy a hybrid.

When questioned on why a hybrid vehicle grasped more interest, consumers answered that it is more suitable for long-distance travel (75%), it’s not as dependent on public charging (74%) and they are not as concerned with it running out of charge (65%).

AAA

“Deciding to make the leap to full electric may feel overwhelming for many consumers, and a hybrid option may be the way to bridge this gap,” said Brannon. “Consumer demand will ultimately dictate the future, and my prediction is that we will have a mix of EVs, hybrids and internal combustion vehicles in dealerships and on the roads in the U.S. for many decades ahead.”

The survey was conducted April 4-8, using a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population overall. The panel provides sample coverage of approximately 97% of the U.S. household population. Most surveys were completed online; consumers without Internet access were surveyed over the phone. A total of 1,152 interviews were completed among U.S. adults, 18 years of age or older.

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