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EV Skeptics Also Worry About Environmental Impacts

2024 2025 2026 Chevrolet Silverado EV Trail Boss Official Photo Off Road Electric Pickup Truck
Image via Chevrolet

Results of a recent study show shoppers in the U.S are somewhat open to the latest onslaught of battery electric vehicles. However, Americans expect at least 500 miles of range before they’re ready to commit to an EV. According to the recent Deloitte 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study, U.S. consumers expect fully electric vehicles to offer as much as 518 miles on a full charge before they will consider a purchase, the most of any nation included in the data set. The results are based on surveys collected from more than 26,000 consumers in 25 countries between September and October of 2021.

When compared to the rest of the world, Americans are more demanding of EV range by a significant margin. South Koreans expect a driving range of 397 miles, Germans are looking for 383 miles, Southeast Asians are collectively after 277 miles, Japanese shoppers want 260 miles, while the Chinese only want 258 miles.

GM Ultium Battery Electric Vehicle Platform LG Chem deloitte automotive consumer study
GM’s Ultium EV Platform Will Underpin Several Models. Image Via GM.

The Feasibility Of 500 Electric Miles

It’s unclear how Americans included in the survey arrived at the 518-mile BEV range requirement. Most gasoline-powered vehicles in America are only capable of 400 miles to a tank in a best-case scenario. The recently released Chevrolet Silverado EV promises 400 miles of range from a single charge, the Ford F-150 Lightning should provide more than 300 miles of range, while the Mustang Mach-E offers up to 300 miles as well. The Ram EV is said to promise 500 miles, but the electric pickup truck seems like it’s still in the conceptual stage compared to its rivals. Pricing on all of these vehicles are higher, relative to their engine-powered counterparts.

It’s likely the excessive range demands will begin to come down as charging infrastructure becomes more widespread and just as convenient as filling a tank with gas. The GMC Hummer EV for example is capable of adding 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes when hooked up to a DC fast charger–in comparison, you can completely fill your conventional vehicle with gas (thus adding hundreds of miles of range in the same time period) and grab a snack within the same 10 minutes.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition Electric Vehicle
Image Via Ford.

The study also indicated most Americans are drawn to BEVs because of an expectation of lower fuel costs. However, there will be a crossover point where demands placed on the electrical grid become so severe electricity prices will spike to reflect the increased demand. Let’s not forget, despite all the sound and fury regarding electric vehicles, they accounted for less than 5% of U.S sales in 2021–and that includes both PHEVs and BEVs.

Electric Vehicle Skepticism Is Global

Additionally, 51% of Americans surveyed consider BEVs to have a similar or worse environmental impact than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. Issues with mining and material provenance have been well documented–even at this early stage of BEV adoption–and will continue to be an issue no matter how hard and fast automakers and politicians attempt to eliminate conventional vehicles from our roads. By comparison, customers from Asian countries such as China, India and South Korea scored even lower when it came to the perception of environmental friendliness for electric vehicles compared to ICE. For India, only 41 percent of customers surveyed believe electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly than ICE vehicles. That same measurement drops to 34 percent for Chinese customers, and only 32 percent when asking the South Koreans.

Also in the 2022 Deloitte Automotive Consumer Study, data suggests that COVID-19 plays a strong influence on Southeast Asian and Indian customers when it comes to leaving public transportation for personal transportation. 31 percent of SEA consumers surveyed look to buying a car to avoid public transit because of COVID, while 45 percent of consumers surveyed from India look to do the same. Japan, Germany and South Korea scored the lowest in these metrics, followed by the United States, as consumers least likely to acquire a vehicle to avoid public transit.

Rivian R1S Production Delivery Normal Illinois Assembly Plant Electric SUV
Photo via Rivian.

Written by Michael Accardi

Michael refuses to sit still, he's held multiple hands-on automotive jobs throughout his career. Along with being an investigative writer and accomplished photographer, Michael works for several motorsports organizations.

He was part of the Ford GT program at Multimatic, oversaw a fleet of Audi TCR race cars, has ziptied Lamborghini Super Trofeo cars back together, been over the wall in the Rolex 24, and worked in the cut-throat world of IndyCar.


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  1. I think beyond 250 miles (and I mean real miles, not like when Tesla says 300 miles and gets 270) is good enough for 99% of people. The biggest issue with EVs is charging speed. People want to be able to not think about it, just refill the car whenever they want in 2 minutes like a gas vehicle. Cars are getting much better now with 800V+ systems (like the IONIQ 5, which recharges 10%-80% in less than 20 minutes), but that’s the real defining feature that ICE vehicles have an advantage in.

    • It could be that people think it’s easier to add range than it is to reduce charging time. Especially if their routine involves charging overnight at home, that 500 mile number could let the consumer feel less “trapped” in a driving radius.

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