Press release
25 May 2022  | New York, NY, US

EY Mobility Consumer Index reveals US lags behind global counterparts in electric vehicle adoption

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Less than 30% of US car buyers intend to buy an electric vehicle, while European and Asian countries lead in adoption

As global electric vehicle (EV) adoption continues to accelerate, the US is lagging behind the rest of the world, according to the latest Ernst & Young Global Limited Mobility Consumer Index (MCI, or the Index). The survey reveals that only 29% of US car buyers intend to buy an EV (electric, hybrid and plug-in), compared with the global average of 52%. Top concerns inhibiting adoption include charging infrastructure and EV range anxiety. However, consumers who have already purchased an EV in the past are more likely to purchase one in the future, and they have less apprehension around range distance and charging opportunities.

The global Index of 13,000 people in 18 countries reveals Italy is leading the way with 73% of the population intending to buy an EV within the next 12 months, followed by 69% in China, 63% in South Korea and 45% in India.

“We have a lot of EV innovation in America, but we need to focus on easing the path from intention to purchase,” says Steve Patton, EY Americas Mobility Leader. “Consumers are willing to consider EVs, and we’ve seen a lot of recent action by both the public and private sector to address infrastructure issues. According to our findings, only 7% of US respondents looking to buy a car intend to buy a fully electric car, compared with the global average of 20%, proving that while consumer confidence in EV technology has increased significantly globally, the US is falling behind.”

The Index shows that even amid investments from both the public and private sectors, respondents cited the lack of viable charging networks (34%) and range anxiety (33%) as the top two concerns of those who prefer traditional internal combustion engine vehicles over EVs as their next car purchase.

Additional data from the Index shows:

  • 36% of buyers don’t believe there are enough charging points yet to buy an EV.
  • 30% of US car buyers note that they are likely to purchase a fully electric, plug-in or hybrid car.
  • Only 16% of US respondents intend to buy a hybrid car.
  • Second-time EV buyers are exhibiting more confidence in the EV range compared with first-time EV buyers, as 32% said they are motivated to buy an EV because of longer available mileage ranges.

“The future of automotive is still electric,” says Felipe Smolka, EY Americas eMobility Leader. “While the US may be behind EV purchasing, we are seeing incredible progress in battery chemistries and technology, which helps close pricing and mileage range gaps. We expect adoption to accelerate with new EV policies at the state and federal levels combined with a surge in automotive manufacturing investments providing more EV options to consumers and fleets.”

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