Americans like the idea of government and industry sweeteners to hasten the shift to all-electric or gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
But respondents to a recent Pew Research Center poll found Americans were more divided when asked if they would personally consider buying an electric vehicle the next time they buy a new car, SUV or SUV. van.
Massive adoption of EVs and more model offerings from Tesla TSLA rival automakers,
are seen as a key part of the country’s efforts to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Still, Pew found that a majority of respondents oppose the complete elimination of gas-powered vehicles in the coming years. The poll was taken this spring, before the Senate late last month surprised voters with an apparent compromise on a near-dead spending bill that would revive tax credits for electric vehicles and more.
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Details are still up in the air this week, but lawmakers reportedly agreed to a conditional tax credit of $4,000 for the purchase of used electric vehicles and $7,500 for new ones.
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Overall, two-thirds of Americans support incentives to increase the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, according to the Pew survey. Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party are much more likely than Republicans and GOP supporters to say they support incentives to increase electric vehicle use (84% to 46%).
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About four in ten Americans (42%) say they would be very or somewhat likely to seriously consider buying an electric vehicle the next time they look for a new car or truck. A slightly larger share (45%) say they would not be too or not at all likely to, while 13% say they don’t plan to buy a vehicle in the future.
The share of Americans who are very or somewhat likely to buy an electric car or truck is about the same as in April 2021. Since then, the price of gasoline has increased significantly, from an average of $2.95 per gallon in April 2021 to $4.55 in May 2022, the time of the survey. Vehicle prices also rose amid broader inflationary pressures. Overall, Americans view electric vehicles as more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles, according to a 2021 Pew survey.
Certainly, the purchase of an electric vehicle is not only about tax breaks and displayed prices. Potential electric vehicle buyers are weighing potential inventors against limited supplies and vital shortages of semiconductor chips. Cars, trucks and SUVs, especially electric vehicles, are now much less mechanical and more digital.
According to a recent Center survey, those most likely to consider buying an electric vehicle in the future are young adults, city dwellers, Democrats and those who already own a hybrid or all-electric vehicle.
A majority of 55% of adults aged 18-29 say they are very or somewhat likely to consider an electric vehicle the next time they buy a vehicle.
And it may take greater incentives to make electric vehicles affordable for this group more eager to adopt.
The reworked Senate agreement also includes a cap on the suggested retail price of eligible vehicles of $55,000 for new cars and $80,000 for pickup trucks and SUVs. The credits would be capped at an income level of $150,000 for a single filer and $300,000 for joint filers for new vehicles, and $75,000 and $150,000 for used cars.
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The proposed legislation removes previous requirements that required qualified vehicles to be equipped only with plug-in electric motors. The new version leaves out a cap of 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer that automakers have fought against. It means Tesla TSLA,
which had all reached the ceiling, can again attract buyers with this tax relief.
Among Americans polled by Pew who said they were at least somewhat likely to consider buying an electric vehicle, a large majority said environmental protection (73%) and fuel savings (71%) are the main reasons. They are much less likely to say that following the latest vehicle trends is a main reason they would be likely to buy an electric vehicle (10%).
And while expensive vehicles are the type of purchase that could get things moving to slow climate change, it’s not just that segment of the economy that’s seeing traction.
The Pew survey also found that the majority of Americans overall support several other policies aimed at addressing climate change, including requiring power companies to use more energy from renewable sources. ICLN,