LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. — A new report contends majority (52 percent) of U.S. residents agree that electric vehicles are instrumental in combating climate change, and 46 percent agree that governments should increase tax incentives for people who buy EVs.

Four in ten (41 percent) of Americans say they would consider an Electric Vehicle (EV) for their next car, according to a report from market research firm Ipsos and EVBox Group.  The top barrier to buying is drivers’ uncertainty around finding a charging station when they need it — an indication that an expanded public EV charging infrastructure would help the nation transition more quickly from gas cars to emission-free EVs.

Consumer attitudes revealed by the report support recent clean energy policy and market developments in the U.S. and illustrate how government incentives allow Americans to build a sustainable future.

This year, major automakers including General Motors and Ford are releasing a new wave of electric cars and pickup trucks that are more affordable for mainstream drivers. The U.S. recently rejoined the Paris Agreement in the fight against climate change, and the Biden administration is urging faster adoption of EVs with a call for 500,000 new public charging stations on U.S. roads by 2030.

The EVBox Mobility Monitor surveyed over 2,000 Americans nationwide via an online questionnaire with some notable results:

  • Most (59 percent) say climate change is personally important to them. Among those inclined to buy an EV (749 potential EV drivers), 83 percent share this view.
  • A majority (54 percent) of Americans, and 79 percent of potential EV drivers, have a (very) positive view of the Paris Agreement.
  • More than 4 in 10 Americans (45 percent) — and 7 in 10 (72 percent) potential EV drivers — say environmental considerations are important when buying a car.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 (68 percent) potential EV drivers say President Biden’s plan to expand tax incentives for EV purchases makes them more inclined to buy an EV.

According to survey responses, the typical U.S. EV driver is young (18 to 34), male, highly educated, and charges their EV mostly at home (73 percent). Most EV drivers own multiple cars — often, an EV plus a gas car — a sign that drivers don’t feel comfortable going fully-electric without a backup because EV charging infrastructure is not yet widely available.

Despite a majority of Americans viewing climate change as personally important and EVs as instrumental to addressing it, significant barriers keep many U.S. drivers from buying EVs.

More EV chargers in more places would resolve drivers’ top concern: that they won’t find a charging station when they need it. Only 18 percent of Americans, and 30 percent of potential EV drivers, say that there are enough charging stations in their area.

To reduce other barriers will require the U.S. to install a larger number of more reliable chargers that are designed to be inclusive of people of all physical abilities. Nearly 4 in 10 (39 percent) EV drivers said they’ve had problems charging their EVs at public charging stations that were broken, not designed to accommodate people with disabilities, or otherwise difficult to use.