Range is now the top priority for EV shoppers, survey finds

Range is the most important consideration for electric-car shoppers, according to a new Autolist.com survey, marking a change from a similar survey conducted by the listings and analysis firm in 2019. Price and charging concerns were top priorities then, but this time 61% of respondents listed range as their top priority, with price (50%) and […]

Range is the most important consideration for electric-car shoppers, according to a new Autolist.com survey, marking a change from a similar survey conducted by the listings and analysis firm in 2019.

Price and charging concerns were top priorities then, but this time 61% of respondents listed range as their top priority, with price (50%) and charging infrastructure (43%) rounding out the top three.

Significant progress has been made on the price front since 2019, accompanying analysis noted. Falling battery prices have helped lower the overall cost of EVs, and there are now more models for car shoppers to choose from. These new models—such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4—may not be cheaper, but they are perceived as a better value by consumers, analysts said.

Public charging infrastructure has expanded since the last survey, but that may not address many of the issues with charging. Even Tesla’s Supercharger network may not be as important in winning over consumers as it may seem, the survey suggested. When asked to choose the most appealing aspect of Tesla EVs, only one quarter of respondents picked the Supercharger network, ranking it fifth out of 11 possible answers (performance was ranked highest).

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+

Instead, most respondents wanted to charge at home, with 70% saying home charging was “essential to their purchase consideration.” However, that just isn’t an option for many car shoppers, as having a place to charge usually means owning a home with a driveway.

Respondents also seemed dissatisfied with charging times at public stations. When asked how long they were willing to wait at a rest stop to add 300 miles of range, 28% said up to 30 minutes, with smaller percentages for both longer and shorter times, putting this survey in line with a 2020 study that marked 30 minutes as the sweet spot.

The idea of a range approaching 500 miles is a red herring if you ask us, but polls and surveys continue to say otherwise.

However, there is some variability in this sentiment. While one recent survey indicated that Americans’ range expectations might have gone up during the coronavirus pandemic, another indicated range concerns go away after owning an EV.