PEW Research Confirms Waning EV Interest Among Americans

New research has revealed that electric-vehicle demand among American drivers has waned for the first time in four years. The research confirms what many automakers have been experiencing for the past several months: the nascent EV industry is losing the steam it has gathered over the last decade. According to PEW Research, only 3 out of 10 U.S. motorists are now considering buying a battery electric vehicle (BEV) as their next driver.

This represents the first time since 2020 that consumer demand for BEVs in the United States has seen a notable drop. The analysis notes that the 9% drop in demand was due to consumer concerns about EV costs and reliability compared to fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Furthermore, the research found that there has been an alarming drop in the number of Americans who believe that battery-electric vehicles are better for the ecosystem compared to gas and diesel cars.

Only 47% of the respondents said zero emissions are the best thing about electric cars compared to 67% in 2021 who shared the same sentiment. The research data also indicates that political leanings may affect consumer sentiment about electric cars with mostly Democrats showing enthusiasm for EVs. In addition, 35% of Republican respondents said they believe battery electric cars are worse for the environment compared to gas-powered vehicles.

A lot of these concerns may be due to the emissions produced during the battery-production phase of EV manufacturing. While EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions once they are on the road, mining and processing the raw materials for EV batteries has a significant impact on the environment. Additionally, charging electric cars with electricity from fossil fuel-fired power plants rather than clean energy somewhat negates their environmental benefits.

Although the research data doesn’t state that these drawbacks don’t make electric vehicles worse for the environment, there are many detractors to write off electric cars. Data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that the average battery-electric car producers 2,727 pounds of carbon dioxide annually while gas-powered vehicles emit 12,594 pounds of carbon yearly. Based on these numbers, it is clear that electric cars are much better for the environment compared to internal-combustion-engine (ICE) cars.

BEVs and other alternative-energy vehicles will play a critical role in cutting emissions from the transportation industry, a sector that produced roughly 28% of America’s emissions in 2025. Even if the majority of drivers switch to EVs but still charge with fossil fuel-generated electricity, the transition will result in a natural drop in carbon-dioxide emissions from transportation.

The waning interest in EVs by Americans is likely to be of concern to North American-based electric vehicle makers such as ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. Ltd. (NASDAQ: SOLO), given that the U.S. market is the largest within the region.

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