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GAS VS ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The race is on – who’s going to drive America into the future?  While  government agencies and climate activists continue to push electric vehicles, sales of gas-powered (ICE) vehicles keep on rolling. New car sales surged 15.6% (compared to May 2022) in spite of higher prices. The May 2023 numbers are in:

  • Ford F-Series (Up 42.7% from May 2022)
  • Chevrolet Silverado (Up 5.2%)
  • Ram Pickup (Up 11.9%)
  • Toyota RAV4 (Up 3.8%)
  • Honda CRV (Up 95.4%)

Not one EV cracked the top five. Apparently, all the climate change hoopla hasn’t crossed over to the automotive market – yet. Even though 1 in 4 shoppers are now considering an electric vehicle, ICE vehicles still rule the road.

In fact, JD Power reported in March 2023 that 21% of new-vehicle shoppers said they were “very unlikely” to consider an EV, up from 18.9% in February and 17.8% in January.

Ongoing worries about charging infrastructure and vehicle pricing is stalling enthusiasm. EVs market share of new vehicle sales dropped to 7.3% in March, down from a record high of 8.5% in February but up from 2.6% in February 2020.

“Many new vehicle shoppers are becoming more adamant about their decision to not consider an EV for their next purchase,” JD Power said.

But buying electric has its’ advantages and can be a smart move for both your wallet and the climate, according Kelley Blue Book (KBB.) Here are KBB’s reasons for going electric:

  • Even with a higher upfront price tag, driving electric can mean lower lifetime costs.
  • Leasing an EV can give you the experience behind the wheel without the commitment that a purchase carries.
  • When deciding if an EV is right for you consider vehicle range, access to chargers and your lifestyle needs.
  • Electric cars tend to require less maintenance than a gas-powered option.
  • Installing an EV fast-charging station in your home can cost up to $50,000, though a basic, slower plug-in charger costs only a few hundred dollars.

Even initiatives like “Walmart’s plan to dramatically expand its charging network and Tesla’s announcement it would open its supercharger network to non-Tesla vehicles have apparently had little effect on consumer concerns, at least so far,” JD Power said.

Government subsidies for EVs have come to a screeching halt. The IRS and Treasury Department’s new guidance on specific vehicle requirements that need to be met before EVs can be eligible for tax credits have caused confusion and will likely raise the price again for EVs.

These new hurdles will affect the affordability of several EV models, while also likely introducing more confusion among buyers,” JD Power said. “Our data suggests that higher prices will negatively affect EV sales. “

Gallup reports that although 43% of U.S. adults said they might consider buying an EV in the future, 41% say they would not. Only about 4% of Americans currently own an EV and 12% are seriously considering purchasing one.

Gas-powered vehicles are still in the lead, but when all the uncertainties of EVs get ironed out, it will be a closer race.To learn more about why EV sales are stalling, read Medora Lee’s recent article in USA Today.