AAA Survey Shows Consumer Thoughts on Electric Vehicles – Clarksville Online

Nashville, TN- A new national survey by AAA shows that a quarter of consumers plan to go electric for their next vehicle purchase (a fully electric vehicle, not a hybrid).

The most common factor for those interested in buying an electric vehicle (77%) is a strong desire to save on fuel costs.




However, AAA notes that there are still those who are reluctant to make the switch, due to lingering concerns about range, purchase price and the availability of public charging options.

“Consumers, fed up with wild swings in prices at the pump, may be more willing than ever to switch to an electric vehicle,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Record gasoline prices have brought the cost of owning an electric vehicle in line with that of a standard gasoline vehicle. While it may cost more upfront, electric vehicles cost less to charge, maintain and are more efficient.

EV Sales Trends

Sales of electric vehicles continue to increase steadily in the United States. In 2021 alone (through October), nearly 450,000 EVs were sold, an 88% year-over-year increase. Despite rapid growth, electric vehicles represent less than 1% of light vehicles (cars and trucks) on the road today.

However, industry analysts predict that the share of electric vehicles on the road will reach 15% by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

Cost to refuel a standard vehicle compared to charging an electric vehicle

While fuel costs can vary widely – depending on vehicle type, electricity costs and gas prices – AAA has determined that the cost of charging an EV is 2 to 4 times less than refueling a gas-powered vehicle. By comparing two popular electric sedans to popular gas-powered vehicles, AAA found:

  • Electric vehicles charged at home: Based on the current national average rate, you’ll spend approximately 3.5 cents per mile charging at home (about $10.00 per full charge).
  • EV to public charger: You can expect to spend around 7 cents per mile (approximately $20.00 per full charge). However, the costs of public chargers can vary depending on the location and the type of charger you use.
  • Gasoline vehicles: Based on a national average price of $4.66 per gallon, drivers are spending about 15 cents per mile (about $70.00 for a full tank). It’s approximately twice as expensive as charging an EV at a public station and about four times more than charging an electric vehicle at home.


In addition to fuel savings, electric vehicles cost less to maintain because they don’t have spark plugs, require oil changes or air filter replacements. However, at the conclusion of a federally mandated 100,000 mile vehicle warranty, electric vehicle owners may need to cover the cost of a new battery, which ranges in price from $2,500 to over $10,000. $.

AAA will dig deeper into the cost of owning an electric vehicle in August, as part of its “Your Driving Costs” study.

Charging options vary

Although EV owners do 75% of their charging at home, there are a variety of public options. There are also different charge levels, which can impact the time it takes to charge your vehicle.

  • Level 1 load offers a range of 2 to 5 miles per hour (40 miles on an 8 hour charge), which is enough for a typical US driver who averages about 30 miles a day. Level 1 chargers can plug directly into a standard household electrical outlet.
  • Level 2 load can add 25 miles of range per hour (depending on vehicle size and power setting). EV owners usually install it for home charging because it can fully charge an EV overnight. In 2021, over 80% of public EVSE ports in the United States are Tier 2 chargers.
  • DC fast charge the gear provides around 100-200+ miles of range per 30 minute charge. In 2021, more than 15% of public EVSE ports in the United States were DC fast chargers, but availability is expected to increase.

Data from the US Department of Energy suggests that there are nearly 55,674 charging stations across the country. Most of the new charging stations have been installed in hotels, car dealerships, office buildings and federal government facilities.


Consumer concerns about electric vehicles

Even as more Americans look to electric options, AAA found that consumers are still hesitant about price, range and accessibility to charging.

The main concerns cited by consumers regarding electric vehicles were:

  • Higher purchase price – 60%
  • Worried that there are not enough places to recharge – 60%
  • Worry about running out of charge while driving – 58%
  • Unsuitable for long-distance travel – 55%
  • High cost of battery repair or replacement – ​​55%
  • Unable to install a charging station where they live – 31%

Autonomy for electric vehicles

AAA finds that consumers have a reasonably accurate understanding of current electric vehicle range. Six in ten Americans (60%) think electric vehicles can travel between 100 to 350 miles before running out of charge. This matches the capabilities of today’s electric vehicles. These results suggest that while automakers have made great strides in improving range, consumer anxiety about it remains a barrier to adoption.

“Anxiety surrounding the range for consumers is often more of a perceived issue, until they learn more about it,” Cooper continued. “Many electric vehicle owners cite range as one of the things they were concerned about before purchasing the vehicle. Yet those concerns disappeared when they learned to integrate their electric vehicle into their lives. »


Education can ease EV anxiety

AAA believes that a better understanding of the following aspects of electric vehicle ownership will help consumers overcome their concerns.

  • Performance: Electric vehicles are more efficient in traffic jams because the car can recover energy from braking to recharge the battery during deceleration.
  • Charger accessibility: The number of public charging stations has more than tripled in the last five years. Although the charging infrastructure has improved, further efforts are needed to support greater consumer adoption in the coming years. In February, the United States Department of Transportation committed $5 billion over 5 years to help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated fuel corridors, as part of the infrastructure investment and employment. Although it’s unclear how many charging stations this will add.
  • The integration: According to previous AAA research, most EV owners (78%) typically have one or more gas-powered or non-plug-in hybrid vehicles in their household in addition to their EVs. The benefits of using an electric vehicle for shorter trips while using their gas-powered vehicle for longer trips can go a long way in solving range anxiety while highlighting the benefits.
  • Roadside Assistance: AAA stands for automobile, whether electric or gasoline. This includes servicing members who own electric vehicles. AAA finds that, much like gas-powered vehicles, the top reasons for roadside assistance for EV owners include tire issues or the need for a tow, but rarely lack of charging. However, if needed, AAA provides members with electric vehicles with roadside charging or towing service to the nearest public charging station.
  • Incentives for electric vehicles: Currently, there is only one active federal tax credit for electric vehicles. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) purchased in 2010 or later are eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500, electric vehicles with greater capacity battery being eligible for higher tax credits. However, this credit will gradually increase to 50% of the total credit amount once a manufacturer reaches 200,000 PHEV and BEV sold. Only two automakers, Tesla and General Motors, have completely removed their credits.

“Just improving the range of electric vehicles won’t be enough to quell consumer anxiety and inspire them to give these vehicles a chance,” Cooper said. “However, with continued education about electric vehicle ownership, coupled with more consumers seeing their neighbors convert, the popularity of electric vehicles will increase.”


For those who want to learn more or need help choosing an electric vehicle, check out the AAA Car Guide. This resource provides consumers with reviews highlighting the number of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) included in the vehicle, along with other criteria and information. All category winners for 2022 are electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hybrid vehicles.

Methodology

The survey was conducted February 18-20, 2022, using a probability panel designed to represent the entire US household population. The panel provides sample coverage of approximately 97% of the US household population. Most surveys were completed online; consumers without Internet access were interviewed by telephone. A total of 1,051 interviews were conducted with American adults aged 18 or older. The margin of error for the entire study is +/- 4% at the 95% confidence level. Smaller subgroups have larger margins of error.

About AAA – The Auto Club Group

Groupe Auto Club (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with over 13 million members in 14 US states, the province of Quebec and two US territories.

ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel deals and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve road safety.

For more information, download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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