Americans Open to Electric Vehicles but Deterred by Cost and Charging Issues

A new survey by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reveals that while Americans are generally open to purchasing electric vehicles (EVs), many are deterred by cost, range, charging capacity, and a lack of charging stations. Despite these concerns, a majority of Americans indicate they would prefer to buy a more expensive American-made EV over a cheaper Chinese-made one. About six in ten Americans cite saving money on gas and maintenance, along with reducing their personal impact on climate change, as key motivations for considering an EV. Notably, younger Republicans are increasingly acknowledging human-driven climate change, which may signal a generational shift within the party.

The survey also highlights that 66% of adults consider reducing their personal impact on climate change a significant reason to purchase an EV, with financial savings and tax breaks also being influential factors. However, the lack of awareness about nearby charging stations remains a major barrier. Most Americans believe climate change is real and primarily human-caused, with significant partisan differences in these beliefs. While a majority support emissions regulations and renewable energy projects, fewer prioritize fossil fuel development. The survey shows that Americans generally believe corporations and the federal government should bear the most responsibility for addressing climate change, rather than individuals. Climate change and energy policies are expected to be important issues in the 2024 presidential election, especially among Democrats.

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