World Environment Day Survey: Americans Remain Open to EVs

Survey Highlights Continued Interest in EVs Despite Infrastructure and Cost Concerns

June 5, 2024

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On World Environment Day, a time dedicated to raising global awareness and taking action to protect our planet, a recent survey by MINI USA sheds light on American consumers' views on electric vehicles (EVs). This special day, established by the United Nations in 1974, highlights environmental issues and encourages global participation in sustainability efforts. Despite a slowdown in the rapid growth of EV demand since early 2024, the survey shows that Americans are still highly interested in EVs and find them compatible with their lifestyles.

World Environment Day Survey

First conducted five years ago and commissioned by Engine's CARAVAN®, MINI’s 2024 survey reveals that consumer opinions on electric vehicles (EVs) have remained largely unchanged over the past year, with 58% of respondents maintaining their stance. Interestingly, 28% reported a more positive outlook on EVs, compared to 14% whose views became more negative. When it comes to purchasing, 60% of consumers would consider buying an EV, with enthusiasm particularly strong among Gen Z (72%) and Millennials (70%).

Consumer sentiment is crucial as the automotive industry strives to meet the EPA's new emissions standards, which mandate that 56% of new vehicle sales be electric by 2032. Reflecting this goal, about 60% of Americans are optimistic that the market will reach or come close to this level of EV adoption by 2032.

One major factor deterring consumers from purchasing an EV in the near term is the uncertainty surrounding the development of the current charging infrastructure. While half of Gen Z respondents feel confident in the existing charging network, only 12% of Boomers share this sentiment. This disparity highlights a broader belief that mass EV adoption may be limited by the state of the national charging infrastructure.

Fast charging is another critical area for the industry, particularly as younger generations, who are eager to adopt EVs, have high expectations for quick charge times. For instance, 80% of Gen Z expects charging to take an hour or less, compared to 70% for all other generations. This signals high expectations across the board, but especially among younger drivers.

Mini Countryman
Credit: MINI USA - MINI Countryman SE

Interestingly, the average driving range of consumers has remained consistent over the last five years, with 71% of consumers currently driving less than 75 miles a day, compared to 74% in 2019. With most mainstream EVs offering a range of over 200 miles per charge, including the anticipated range of the new 2025 MINI Countryman SE, range anxiety is less of a concern for today’s consumers when considering daily commutes and routine travel.

Conversely, the overall cost of vehicles remains a significant driver of consumer hesitancy in purchasing an EV, with 39% citing it as a main concern. However, families are becoming more open to EVs if efficiency savings sufficiently offset pricing concerns. About 68% of respondents with children are more likely to buy an EV if cost savings are evident, compared to 47% of consumers overall. Across generations, Gen Z drivers show similar likelihood (67%) compared to just 41% of Boomers. The General Population survey, commissioned by MINI USA, was conducted online from April 19-21, 2024, among a sample of 1,013 adults aged 18 and older. Parts of this survey were also conducted in 2020, 2022, and 2023.

It's encouraging to see a significant portion of consumers, especially younger generations, ready to embrace technologies that have a positive impact on the environment. With advancements in science and a collective push towards sustainability, the future of electric vehicles looks promising. As more people recognize the positive impact of these innovations on our planet, we're moving closer to a greener, cleaner world for all.