NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Americans Balk at All-Electric Cars

May 31, 2011

Nearly six of 10 Americans -- 57 percent -- say they won't buy an all-electric car no matter the price of gas.  That is a stiff headwind just as automakers are developing electrics to help meet tighter federal rules that could require their fleets to average as high as 62 miles per gallon in 2025, says USA Today.

  • The anti-electric sentiment unmasked by the poll shows that pure electrics -- defined in the poll question as "an electric car that you could only drive for a limited number of miles at one time" -- could have trouble getting a foothold in the United States.
  • Such cars "are very much niche vehicles. They find acceptance among a core group of passionistas, but too many questions remain for mainstream consumers," says CEO Jeremy Anwyl.
  • He says consumers worry about range per charge, recharge time and battery replacement cost.
  • Electrics also are priced thousands of dollars more than similar gasoline cars.

Source: James R. Healey, "Americans Say 'No' to Electrics despite High Gas Prices," USA Today, May 25, 2011.

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