Why Americans Don’t Buy EVs: No Sea Change Yet Despite The Tesla Model 3
Brooke Crothers, Contributor
Sep 22, 2019
Most Americans aren’t interested in electric vehicles. That’s a cold fact.
I won’t cite a bunch of statistics (that may seem encouraging but actually are not). Just look around you.
2020 is almost here but it’s still wall-to-wall gas cars. And it’s not just inertia. All those new cars are gas too.
My neighborhood in Los Angeles is a very rare exception with more than its fair share of Model 3 owners as well as a small Chevy Volt and Bolt presence. But leave my neighborhood and travel to other locations around the U.S. and EVs pretty much vanish.
Yes, the Model 3 is a hit and has topped 500,000 cumulative registrations* but it’s not that popular. I mean it’s not the car that’s going to bring average car-buying Americans into the EV fold in large numbers. The price alone limits its appeal.
Why are EVs unpopular?
My experience as an early EV adopter (2013 Volt**) has been that on average people see EVs as exotic, weird cars. Certainly not for them. It means straying from a critical comfort zone. The gas-car paradigm has worked for a 100 years, it works for them now and that’s good enough, thank you. And many have vague, uninformed fears about range and running out of juice on the way to the store.
Or to put it another way, old habits are hard to break, as Alan Ohnsman of Forbes said to me.
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