Why People Don’t Buy Electric Cars

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first attempt at a mass market electric car. Taken in 2022

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first attempt at a mass market electric car. Taken in 2022

Each year, electric car sales continue to grow. After all, their success is practically cut out. They’re generally perceived as better for the environment and the rising cost of gas makes them economically smart. Even the president has voiced support, pledging to make half of all new cars be electric by 2030.

And yet, despite all these incentives and near exponential growth in recent years, electric cars still lag far behind their gas-powered counterparts.  Data from 2020 shows that only 2% of cars on the road are electric. 

But what’s the reason for this disparity? It seems like we’re on a timeline to completely replace gas powered cars, and yet in reality, we’re just starting. 

One theory is that the unavoidable upfront cost is just too much for most people. When looking to buy a car, customers see the price tag first. And for most people, these prices are just too steep.

While it’s true that electric cars cost more, this cost can be negated in the long run. Compared to gas and diesel-powered vehicles, they cost significantly less to maintain. 

For one example, the extra energy bill might seem high, but  it’s practically nothing when compared to the price of gas. This is a clear advantage to electric cars, especially now with the dramatic rise in gas prices. 

Additionally, electric cars require less professional maintenance. For example, they’ll never need an oil change and their braking system endures longer due to regenerative braking.

Price isn’t the only factor for potential buyers looking at electric cars. One factor that dissuades customers is the fact that electric vehicles usually have less range per change than a gasoline or diesel car would on a full tank. Dubbed “range anxiety,” many see it as a potential problem. After all, it’s inconvenient to make long stops in order to charge. 

“In a lot of places, charging stations are few and far between,” Lambert Junior Armaan Bhasin said. 

As he revealed, the lack of charging stations can be problematic when it comes to long distance commutes and road trips. His concerns connect to yet another source of anxiety for many potential buyers, as the current lack of infrastructure needed to support electric cars is a major deterrent when it comes to purchasing these vehicles 

The good news is that, while all these issues are prevalent for the industry, positive changes seem to be consistent, albeit a bit slow. As technology improves each year, companies are able to make electric cars cheaper and therefore more accessible to the majority of the population. With more and more firms trying their hand at making electric cars, it’s likely that affordable options will soon be widely available.

Improved technology leads to more efficient batteries. As cars are able to hold more charge, they can drive for longer and reduce a lot of the range anxiety that their customers feel.

 The electric infrastructure seems to be catching up as well. Due to their low profile, charging stations are popping up everywhere. More and more public shopping centers and parking complexes opt to build charging stations. It’s getting easier to find a place to charge your electric vehicle. As such, the myth that electric vehicles are only short range is slowly disappearing. 

 While it’s true that right now electric cars may not be feasible for everybody, that may change in the near future. Each generation of technology makes these vehicles increasingly feasible to own and maintain in place of a traditional car. Your current car’s probably not electric, but your next one just may be.