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Our recent poll on global warming showed that Americans are concerned and believe that human behavior plays a large role in climate change. But one thing we saw during that survey was that many consumers do not drive electric vehicles (EVs). Wanting to dig deeper into what’s keeping America at the gas pump, we surveyed people to see what’s motivating vehicle purchases and what (if anything) is keeping them from buying electric. 

What’s Preventing EV Purchases?

Only 9% of Americans we polled currently drive an EV. However, 68% said that they would be open to purchasing one. Breaking down these responses by gender on the Insights Platform, men seem to be much more open to EV consideration. 77% of male respondents said they are open to purchasing an EV vs. 63% of females. 

Source: PureSpectrum Insights Platform

When asked what is keeping them from purchasing an electric vehicle, price is the biggest (62%) concern for all respondents regardless of gender. After cost, 51% cite worry about access to charging stations. 31% hold similar concerns about the range and 19% simply want more options. 

Of the 32% of respondents who would not consider buying an EV, almost half said they simply prefer gas vehicles. 42% of respondents also think that electric cars are too expensive.

26% say they don’t trust the technology and another 18% plainly stated they just would never buy an EV.


How Does America Incentivize EV Purchases?

We asked respondents how they think America can get more people to purchase electric vehicles? Echoing earlier sentiments, 59% think that the industry needs to offer less expensive options. 47% believe that the country needs better charging infrastructure and 45% suggested tax breaks.

EV purchase

Source: PureSpectrum Insights Platform

And while almost half of our respondents want that tax break for ownership, they are less sure about tax penalizations related to an individual’s car emissions. Current carbon tax laws are in place in certain states to castigate industrial companies that emit large quantities of greenhouse gasses. When asked if they ever think their state will impose such a carbon tax on vehicle owners, only 34% said yes. 

Could EVs ever be something incentivized by employers with green missions statements? 35% of respondents said yes. Of those respondents, more men (44%) than women (31%) would be influenced to purchase if the EV was subsidized by their workplace.

The Future of EVs in America 

Looking ahead, it seems that the EV industry has more hurdles ahead before they are in every driveway across America. Besides making pricing more accessible, many Americans still need to be further educated on the technology and the existing charging infrastructure. Because while an EV may not be on every American’s wishlist, it seems that a majority are excited to take steps forward to help the planet and reduce vehicle emissions. We look forward to seeing more startups and existing manufacturers expand the marketplace and give Americans the EV options they are looking for. 

Want to learn more about running your own survey? See how easy it is on our Insights Platform.

Interested in getting further details about this data set?  Email us at



PureSpectrum interviewed 258 online respondents on September 24, 2021, using the PureSpectrum Insights Platform. The platform is integrated with the PureSpectrum Marketplace which combines proprietary measurement tools and third-party data validation to quickly collect high-quality insights. The study fielded in less than an hour and a half and targeted respondents within the United States and consisted of a general population audience of 18+ years old. This study uses a 95% confidence level to examine the data.

About PureSpectrum 

PureSpectrum offers a complete end-to-end market research and insights platform, helping insights professionals make decisions more efficiently, and faster than ever before. Awarded MR Supplier of the Year at the 2021 Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, PureSpectrum is recognized for industry-leading data quality. PureSpectrum developed the respondent-level scoring system,  PureScore™, and believes their continued success stems from their talent density and dedication to simplicity and quality. In the few years since its inception, PureSpectrum has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s Fast 500 since 2020, and ranked for three years in a row on the GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative List and the Inc. 5000 lists.