The electric vehicle (EV) market in the U.S. is continuing to heat up, according to new data from Hankook Tire’s Gauge Index. The latest installment of Hankook’s consumer survey found 21% of Americans currently own or lease a hybrid or EV, up from 17% in 2022, and another 34% plan to in the future.
Hankook also found that drivers in the West are most likely to already own or lease an EV or hybrid vehicle (26%).
Desire for EVs also differs by generation, as younger drivers seem more inclined to purchase one: 25% of Gen Zs and 27% of Millennial drivers would be most interested in buying an EV (versus a gas powered or hybrid vehicle), compared to only 18% of Gen X and 8% of Boomers.
Technology, fuel efficiency drives EV interest
The advanced features of EVs is fueling consumers’ interest. The Gauge found one-in-five (20%) say that a vehicle with the latest automotive technology is most appealing to them, and when asked what term they most associate with EVs, “advanced technology” took the top spot (28%). Another 20% of drivers associate EVs with sustainability.
Hankook also found that fuel efficiency is top-of-mind for many Americans. Fuel efficiency is the main consideration when deciding what type of vehicle to take on a road trip (30%), followed by comfort or size of the vehicle (23%) and whether the vehicle is up to date on maintenance (22%).
However, interest in purchasing a gas-powered vehicle still wins out for half (50%) of drivers, which Hankook found is largely impacted by consumers’ desires for convenience and practicality. Over one-third (34%) of Americans say a practical vehicle is most appealing to them right now.
Still, most Americans (63%) would get behind the wheel of an EV when driving up to 250 miles, which is considered the average range for EVs. However, one in five (21%) remain wary and would not feel comfortable driving an EV any distance. Those who are not comfortable doing so cite reliability concerns (24%) and concerns over finding a charging station (23%).
“Our latest Gauge Index reveals interest in EVs is on the rise, and we expect that to shift into high gear as the technology becomes more accessible,” said Intae (Ted) Choi, vice president of marketing strategy, Hankook Tire America Corp. “Whether driving an EV, hybrid or gas-powered vehicle, it is important to understand the demands and requirements of your vehicle and stay up-to-date on required maintenance to ensure high performance. At Hankook, we are excited about the acceleration of the EV market and look forward to supporting our customers as they hit the road.”
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a survey of Americans’ attitudes and opinions about driving. The latest survey, conducted March 9-13, 2023, polled 1,031 randomly selected Americans age 18 and older who have a valid U.S. driver’s license.