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More Shoppers Consider Owning EVs, CarGurus Survey Finds

The 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show is just around the corner. It promises dozens of debuts, many of which are electric vehicles. With more EVs available to consumers, we wanted to see how they feel about purchasing and owning one. We queried 1,702 vehicle owners and compared the results to our 2018 survey.

Interest in EV Ownership Increases, But Price Still Proves an Obstacle

In 2018 when we asked respondents how likely they were to own an EV, just 15% said they would probably or definitely own one in the next five years. For 2019, that number jumped to 26%. While respondents were not asked why they are more likely to consider an EV, it’s likely that this increase may be in part due to the larger number of EVs available. Since last year’s survey, Audi, Mercedes, and Jaguar have all introduced new EVs. And there’s no sign of automakers slowing down. Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Toyota have all announced plans to introduce several EVs by the mid-2020s. 

However, of those surveyed, 67% said that cost has been one of the biggest obstacles to their purchasing an EV, a finding that was consistent with last year’s survey. Despite the number of EVs available, many have higher starting prices than gas-powered vehicles. Some automakers still qualify for federal incentives, which can help make electric vehicles more affordable—but some, like Tesla, have already passed the 200,000-unit mark, making them ineligible for those tax credits. 

Shoppers Need More EV Infrastructure

Similar to last year, respondents cited the lack of infrastructure and charging stations as an obstacle to purchasing an EV. Automakers are actively working to remedy this. Some, like Tesla, are creating their own network of charging stations while others, like Volkswagen, are partnering with large companies like Wal-Mart to provide them across the US. 

The Next Frontier: Electric Trucks

Shoppers have multiple options for an electric sedan or SUV. But the next frontier that many automakers are racing toward is that of the electric truck. Automotive startups like Rivian and Bollinger have already introduced prototypes and production-level models of their EV trucks. Ford and Chevy have also showcased one-off models with the electric F-150 and E-10, respectively. And Tesla will debut its Cybertruck on Thursday, November 21, in a separate event from the LA Auto Show. 

Read more about this year’s survey here.

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