2018 Survey Results Positive for EVs, but Lack of Charging Stations a Major Barrier

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Car in sky
It’s little wonder why the electric vehicle (EV) revolution has a growing number of devotees. EVs have the potential to clean up our transportation system (which happens to be our largest contributor to climate pollution), plus the transportation transformation would reduce what consumers pay to get around. So why isn’t everyone buying an EV? Well it depends who you ask, so why don’t we take a look at recent survey results to see the bigger picture.

The American Auto Association (AAA) and Axios both published survey results in 2018 to help us understand what’s going on.

Just as we predicted, the EV revolution is heating up with 20% (that’s 50 million Americans!) of AAA survey respondents answering they will likely buy an EV for their next vehicle. That’s up an astounding 5% from 2017. In other words, 33% more Americans say they’re likely to go electric when surveyed in 2018 than in 2017. Now, since we know technology transformations follow S-curves, we should prepare for that percentage to sharply increase over the next few years.

But the survey results aren’t all peaches and cream. Among respondents to AAA’s survey who are unsure or unwilling to go electric, 63% said they are reluctant because there are not enough places to charge. Second to that, but still rather entwined in the lack of charging infrastructure, 58% said they wouldn’t go electric because they feared running out of a charge while driving (i.e. “range anxiety”).

A survey by Axios found 37% of respondents are somewhat, very, or extremely likely to go electric for their next vehicle. As for those unwilling to go electric, lack of charging topped the list of reasons with 47%.

These are justifiable fears, especially for those of us without home charging access like renters and apartment dwellers. As a renter myself (along with 37% of the U.S.), making the leap to an EV is difficult without knowing I’ll be able to find reliable and affordable charging.

Cars parked in a charging parking lot

Fortunately, creative options abound for filling the charging vacuum, andEVmatch is leading the way with a reservable charging network in California and Colorado. Through the EVmatch network, EV drivers can easily search and reserve chargers near them with a few quick clicks on the app. Homeowners and business owners rent their EV chargers or outlets to other drivers.

EVmatch’s model is timely because it solves the EV charging infrastructure problem immediately by bringing private charging stations into public use today. For comparison, it could take years for a city to install just a dozen chargers, during which time new car buyers will have kicked the can down the road again and bought another gasoline vehicle.

So what can we do to get more people driving EVs? First thing’s first — we need to continue growing the EVmatch network so everyone can confidently drive electric today. Beyond that, we need to continue developing traditional infrastructure to support charging, like Electrify America’s national charging network. As charging options increase, the numbers indicate that more and more car buyers will go electric.

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