Skyrocketing gas prices are making us all want electric vehicles, right? This is not the case, according to the survey

Good news seems hard to come by these days, so here’s a free preview: Gasoline prices could finally, impossibly, remarkably be on the decline.

Months of thrilling trips to the gas station fade in the rearview mirror, with AAA announcing this week that the price of a gallon of gasoline has now fallen every day since its June 14 peak.

How long and how far this decline will continue remains to be seen, but record prices at the pumps have been enough to force nearly two-thirds of consumers to change their driving or lifestyle habits since March, according to AAA.

We were driving less, running more errands at once, cutting back on shopping and dining out, and postponing big purchases and vacations to compensate.

One thing we didn’t do? Buy more electric vehicles. conducted its annual survey of electric vehicle consumers in the midst of soaring gas prices and asked nearly 2,000 current car buyers a host of questions about electric vehicles.

This 2022 iteration of the study found that the upfront cost of electric vehicles remains the main reason people aren’t buying them yet.

Buyers were asked to list the top three reasons why they would not buy an electric vehicle; 48% of respondents said electric vehicles were too expensive, 44% said they had concerns about the range of electric vehicles and 36% said they had concerns about where to charge the vehicle.

These results match earlier versions of the survey, conducted in 2021 and 2019, in which consumers repeatedly listed the same three reasons for not choosing an electric vehicle, as well as a 2021 survey that explored the attitudes towards electric trucks.

But what was striking about this 2022 version of our electric vehicle survey was how consumers responded when we asked them how the price of gas might affect their decision to go electric.

In short: it will not.

Specifically, we asked people what dollar amount the price of a gallon of gas would have to reach for them to seriously consider an electric vehicle for their next vehicle.

The most common answer? “It’s not about the price of gasoline; I would not choose an electric vehicle for other reasons. Nearly a quarter of respondents in our survey chose this answer, far more than any other choice.

So while exactly none of us appreciated pumping all that expensive gas into our cars for the past few months, the sticker shock at the gas station hasn’t been enough to outweigh the electric vehicle sticker shock at the car dealership.

And while traffic to listing pages for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids has certainly been up on Autolist and CarGurus (our sister company) since the start of the year, there is plenty of evidence that the initial cost of electric vehicles remains too high. deterrent and that’s as far as consumers’ journey into electric vehicle review takes them.

The bad news is that after years of decline, the price of battery cells in electric vehicles – the single biggest driver of their cost – is expected to start rising next year.

Currently, battery cells cost around $128 per kilowatt hour; next year they could go down to $110 per kWh. That’s incredibly close to the sweet spot of $100 per kWh that most analysts believe could make EVs roughly the same price as their gas-powered counterparts.

But after bottoming out in 2023, they are expected to rise again by around 22% through 2026.

So what can we do in the meantime? More money for EV buyers is a good place to start, consumers say.

Autolist polled buyers on whether they would support additional incentives for electric vehicles at the federal, state and local levels. Two-thirds of respondents said yes to things like tax incentives, rebates and subsidized public pricing.

Congress seems to be listening. The latest Senate agreement currently underway on a package of climate and tax measures would include an extension of the current tax credit for electric vehicles and a possible lifting of the current cap on the number of electric vehicles sold by an individual brand eligible for credit. tax, although the final form these measures will take remains to be seen.

We started with good news, so we’ll end with some too — two encouraging signs for electric vehicles in the United States that Autolist’s EV survey found.

First of all, the days when your only choice for a non-luxury electric vehicle was a small sedan are over.

Electric vehicles are finally coming in the size and shape that consumers are buying anyway. When asked which EV body style they would be most likely to buy, the most popular response was “midsize crossover” with 16% of votes, followed closely by “pickup trucks” with 15%.

This should help shift more consumers to electric vehicles, as they see fewer compromises on the gasoline-powered model they’re used to. The electrification of America’s beloved pickup truck in particular could have an outsized impact on our adoption of electric vehicles; the release of models like the Ford F-150 Lightning (above), Chevy Silverado EV, electric Ram 1500 and an EV version of Toyota’s next-generation Tacoma due to appear in 2025 will be interesting to watch.

Second, Autolist asked consumers how they would use an electric vehicle if they bought one today. Fifty-nine percent said they would use it as their primary vehicle; 19% said it was a secondary vehicle, 15% were unsure; the bottom seven percent said it was a third or additional vehicle.

What this tells us is that in theory the majority of buyers are at least open to the idea of ​​accommodating an EV in their daily use case. So the interest of electrification is there; if no one saw an electric vehicle fitting into their life, those numbers would likely be reversed.

So now all we need are better/cheaper battery cells, increased investment in charging infrastructure, greater government incentives and more models to hit the market.

Easy right?

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