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The initial excitement surrounding electric vehicles has dissipated, making it look like Americans don’t want to drive EVs. Although drivers preparing for long road trips might choose something other than a fully electric vehicle, many claim they are considering an electric or hybrid vehicle for their next purchase.

How many drivers would consider an electric vehicle in the future?

A recent GBK Collective study shows that nearly half of Americans surveyed consider buying an alternative fuel vehicle as their next ride. This means the other half is still stuck on gas and diesel vehicles, but this shows ample desire for hybrid and electric vehicles. The percentages break down as follows:

  • Gas and diesel – 50%
  • Hybrid/PHEV – 25%
  • EV-Only – 25%

Of the 50% of Americans surveyed considering hybrid or electric vehicles, most lean toward traditional hybrid models, with 22% considering PHEVs. This puts traditional hybrid and fully electric vehicles ahead of PHEVs, which could point to the current market’s lack of availability of plug-in hybrids.

How many Americans currently own a hybrid or electric vehicle?

This GBK Collective study also shows that only about 14%, or one in seven US households, currently own a hybrid, PHEV, or EV vehicle. Only 3% of households own a fully electric vehicle, despite the massive push toward EVs in the automotive industry.

What do new alternative-fuel vehicle owners desire?

This survey shows a significant shift in the automotive industry. Drivers searching for the latest tech dominated the initial push toward EVs, but this survey shows new owners want something more. These consumers desire the right products at the right price points. In a nutshell, these consumers expect new hybrid and electric vehicles to provide the same practical use as their current gas and diesel-powered vehicles.

White 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV driving on a desert road.
2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

Why are some consumers considering hybrid and electric vehicles?

The push toward the perceived environmental benefits of driving a hybrid or electric vehicle is still one of the most popular reasons to switch away from gas and diesel, but it’s not what drives this new wave of consumers. Instead, those considering an alternative fuel vehicle consider these the most important reasons to switch:

  • Lower operating costs per mile – 67%
  • Lower maintenance costs – 55%
  • Taxi incentives or rebates – 47%

This shifting market toward hybrids and EVs shows a strong desire for SUVs. Those surveyed also want the current neutral color palettes we see in the market. Many of those surveyed consider a hybrid vehicle over an electric due to concerns about:

  • The costs and hassles of battery replacement
  • Availability of charging infrastructure
  • EV range
  • Charging time

The demand for alternative fuel vehicles is still present, but the initial excitement for these new vehicles is over. Now, automakers must deliver hybrid, PHEV, and EV models that better meet the needs of more discerning consumers.