The number of new-car buyers considering purchasing an electric vehicle has increased slightly from last year, with 26 percent of shoppers saying they are “very likely” to consider getting an EV as their next car, up from 24 percent in 2022, according to the J.D. Power US Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study.

At the same time, the percentage of customers who say they are “overall likely” to buy an EV has increased from 59 percent in 2022 to 61 percent this year.

Although the percentages have increased year-over-year, they are quite modest, and J.D. Power says that a combination of positive and negative market factors led to this outcome: lower gas prices, inflation, rising interest rates, and greater model availability and charging availability.

With this being said, the problem of spotty public charging remains, with 49 percent of shoppers rejecting the idea of buying an EV saying their primary reason is a lack of charging station availability. This has been the top reason for rejection since the study’s inception in 2021 and it’s reflected in other J.D. Power EV studies as well, where public charging networks consistently score low in satisfaction.

“Most EV owners will say charging is one of the greatest benefits of ownership, because 85% of it is done at home,” said Stewart Stropp, executive director of EV intelligence at J.D. Power. “But it’s the exceptional use case—like a vacation road trip—that’s holding shoppers back. Proactively taking ownership of the public charging experience is a huge opportunity for automakers to differentiate. The recent announcements by Ford and GM to establish a charging collaboration with Tesla are particularly noteworthy.”

Longer commutes lead to increased consideration for EVs, with 35 percent of people who commute more than 45 minutes each way saying they are “very likely” to consider an EV, which is 14 percentage points higher than among those with a commute of 15 minutes or less (21 percent).

People who just rode in an EV as a passenger are more likely to consider an EV than those who have no personal experience with a battery-powered vehicle. Just 12 percent of consumers who had no contact with an EV before said they’re “very likely” to consider one, while 25 percent of those who have simply ridden in an EV as a passenger are “very likely” to consider purchasing one.

J.D. Power says that Tesla remains the most-considered EV brand, but rather interestingly, the three most-considered electric models are all from other automakers. However, shoppers considering a new Tesla say charging station availability is a greater reason to buy than those considering other EV brands.

As for those considering a switch to all-electric, owners of plug-in hybrids who say they are “very likely” to consider an EV increases 11 percentage points year over year, followed by BEV owners, with an increase of 6 percentage points over last year. The same answer saw a 2-point increase among internal combustion engine vehicle owners.

“With all of these influences shaping today’s EV market, the biggest friction point for consideration is the availability of public chargers,” said Stropp. "The growth in public charging isn’t keeping pace with the rising number of EVs on the road. While owners are impressed by what automakers are offering, they’re also thinking about how, when and where they’ll be able to charge their vehicles away from home. A resounding effort to build out and improve the public charging infrastructure will emphatically increase EV purchase consideration.”

J.D. Power’s EVC Study gauges fully electric or battery electric vehicle shopper consideration by geography, demographics, vehicle experience and use, lifestyle, and psychographics. This year’s study measures responses from 8.136 consumers and was fielded from February through May 2023.

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