New Gallup Poll Finds More Americans Aren’t Interested in Buying EVs

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
April 8, 2024US News
New Gallup Poll Finds More Americans Aren’t Interested in Buying EVs
An electric vehicle is connected to a charging point at a Gridserve e-charging station at an Audi Automotive parking lot in Tunis on Aug. 8, 2023. (Fethi Belaid/AFP via Getty Images)

While slightly more Americans now say they own an electric vehicle (EV) than last year, more non-owners report that they would not buy one in the future.

A Gallup poll published on April 8 suggests that about 7 percent of Americans, up from 4 percent in 2023, already own an EV.

The survey, conducted from March 1 to 20, also found that less than half of respondents, or 44 percent, are either “seriously considering” or “might consider” buying an EV for their next car, an 11 percent decrease compared to 55 percent of U.S. adults who said the same in 2023.

It also found that nearly half of Americans, or 48 percent, said they would not purchase an EV in the future, an increase of 7 percentage points from last year’s poll.

According to the data, Americans on the political left are more likely to buy an EV than those on the right. Some 15 percent of Democrats say they plan on purchasing one, while just 2 percent of Republicans say they are.

Nearly half of Democrats, or 46 percent, said they “might consider” owning an EV in the future, while 69 percent of Republicans said they aren’t planning to buy one at all.

Among independents, 47 percent said they would not own an EV, while 45 percent said they may buy one.

Overall, upper-income Americans are most likely to own an EV, with 14 percent reporting they do so, up from 6 percent in 2023. Only 2 percent of Americans who earn less than $40,000 a year said they own one.

The poll also found that Americans concerned about climate change are most open to buying an EV now or in the future, with 17 percent of people in this subgroup already owning one. Conversely, 77 percent of individuals who are not at all concerned about climate change say they would never buy an EV.

In addition, 68 percent of Democrats believe using EVs will help to address climate change “a great deal” or “a fair amount.” Most Republicans and independents, however, think switching to EVs will only help a little bit or not at all.

“Though they are often promoted as a key way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and address the effects of climate change, the public remains largely unconvinced that the use of EVs accomplishes this aim,” the survey concluded.

Gallup concluded that the EV market in the United States remains “fairly limited,” with only about one in six Americans either owning an EV or planning to purchase one.

“Unless that market expands greatly in the next few years, it is unlikely auto companies doing business in the U.S. will be able to meet the emissions targets laid out by the Biden administration,” the report said.

The conclusion conforms with recent decisions by major automakers such as Ford Motor, General Motors, and Mercedes-Benz scaling back or delaying their EV plans.

Just days ago, Ford announced that it delayed the planned launches of three-row EVs in Canada and its next-generation electric pickup truck built in Tennessee as the slowdown in EV demand globally forces automakers to revise production plans.

Ford said separately it was boosting hybrid EV offerings and, by 2030, expects to offer hybrid powertrains across its lineup of gas-powered vehicles.

“We are committed to scaling a profitable EV business, using capital wisely and bringing to market the right gas, hybrid and fully electric vehicles at the right time,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said.

Ford, which lost nearly $4.7 billion on its EV business in 2023 and projected it will lose $5 billion to $5.5 billion this year, said in February the next generation of EVs will be launched “only when they can be profitable.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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