EV Sales Rise, But Barriers Persist

By Staff Writer November 30, 2021 459

Sales of battery-powered electric vehicles in the United States are on track to set an all-time record in 2021, with sales up more than 88% through the end of September. The EV market is on course to grow to 400,000 vehicles this year, and Cox Automotive is forecasting EV sales to double in the next 24 months.

Still, EVs will account for only 3% of the new-vehicle market this year and, according to new research released by Cox Automotive, many barriers to EV adoption remain. The 2021 Cox Path to EV Adoption Study provides a look at the major consumer barriers that continue to slow EV adoption. It also uncovers market perceptions and customer experiences with the EV shopping and buying process. The research was conducted in June and July of 2021 and included a survey of nearly 5,000 in-market consumers who owned, considered or rejected a pure battery-electric vehicle. Additional Cox Automotive studies were considered in the analysis.

Among consumers in the market for a new vehicle, general consideration for a pure electric model is relatively high, at 38% of all shoppers. New research from Cox Automotive, however, indicates that consideration drops off notably to 21% of in-market shoppers saying they are more than 50% confident their next vehicle will be an EV. Further still, only 3% of shoppers in the study indicate that their next will, for certain, be an EV.

Vehicle range and price remain the top barriers, according to this research. The study also shows that automakers and dealers would benefit from focusing on those issues as they market their new EVs.  

In good news for EV sellers, the study shows that some select barriers to EV adoption are shrinking. For example, two years ago, 47% of in-market consumers noted that low vehicle range was a concern. In 2021, that number dropped to 37%. Notably, younger shoppers – Gen Z and Millennials – are far less concerned about vehicle range, with only 20% and 29%, respectively, indicating that range was holding them back from buying an EV. Also noteworthy: In the most recent study, 57% of consumers point to a lack of charging stations in their area as a top barrier, but that percentage is down from 64% in 2019. 

The study shows that 71% of dealers indicated they were “only somewhat” or “not at all” prepared to sell more EVs in the future.

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Last modified on Monday, 06 December 2021 16:16