Survey: Half of Americans say electric vehicles are less reliable than gas 

Electric vehicles line up to charge at Walmart in Valencia on Wednesday, 041223. Dan Watson/The Signal
Electric vehicles line up to charge at Walmart in Valencia on Wednesday, 041223. Dan Watson/The Signal

By Jana J. Pruet 
Contributing Writer 

More Americans say they think electric vehicles are less reliable than gas-powered cars and trucks, while about 30% would “seriously consider” purchasing a plug-in. 

According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, about 50% of respondents said EVs are less reliable, up 16 percentage points since 2021. Nine percent of respondents said EVs are more reliable, while 38% said they believe electric and gas vehicles are about equally reliable. 

Three out of 10 Americans said they would “very seriously” or “somewhat seriously consider” buying an EV, down from about 39% last year. 

The survey of 8,638 U.S. adults was conducted from May 13 to 19 and examined several other factors that could influence a buyer’s decision, including cost, environmental effects and driving experience. 

According to the report, 72% of survey respondents agreed that the initial cost of an EV is greater than that of a gas car, which coincides with industry data. 

The average price for electric cars was $55,242 in April, according to Cox Automotive, parent of Kelley Blue Book. Gas-powered cars cost an average of $44,989. 

“Industry data shows that the average EV still costs more than the average gas vehicle, though this gap is narrowing,” the report stated. 

In April, Elon Musk’s Tesla company dropped prices on three of its five models in the United States after the Texas-based automaker reported its first year-over-year quarterly sales decline in nearly four years. 

About 35% of survey respondents say the cost of charging an EV is less expensive than fueling a gas car. Nearly a third say it costs more, and the rest say the costs are similar. 

According to the survey, nearly half of Americans believe EVs are better for the environment, while about one-third say they are “about the same” as gas cars. The remaining 20% say EVs are worse than gas cars. 

EV drivers say quick acceleration and quieter engines make the cars fun to drive, but the survey found only 13% of Americans say they enjoy driving them more. Nearly 60% said both types of vehicles are “equally fun to drive.” 

“Overall, 56% of Americans are not too or not all confident that the U.S. will build the necessary infrastructure to support large numbers of EVs,” according to Pew. 

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