Highest ever US consumer interest in EVs – JD Power

Appetite to potentially buy suggests a step change in penetration could be somewhere down the line

Highest ever US consumer interest in EVs – JD Power
More people than ever in the US are telling JD Power they are considering purchasing an EV

October saw the highest ever levels of consumer interest in EVs in the US, according to the latest global data outlook from automotive consultancy JD Power. But the share of new BEV sales US market that month came in beneath 8pc, suggesting barriers to interest translating into concrete buying intention.

While data from the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory shows over 12,000 fewer EVs sold in October compared to September, a decrease of 12pc, JD Power finds EV “consumer interest” in EV buying approaching 30pc.

“After hovering around 26-27pc throughout the year, consumer interest in EVs reached an all-time high in October with 29pc of new vehicle shoppers saying they are ‘very likely’ to consider an EV,” explains Elizabeth Krear, vice-president of JD Power’s electric vehicle practice.

“Improving EV affordability, driven largely by Tesla, is likely a contributing factor as purchase price lost ground to charging anxiety as a reason for shopper rejection of EVs,” she continues.

However, despite the uptick in consumer interest polls, a total of 91,537 new BEVs were sold in the US in October, gaining only a 7.63pc market share, and down from over 104,000 new BEV registrations in September, according to Argonne.

JD Power is relatively unworried by a small month-on-month blip, with Krear noting that “October EV retail share essentially held steady after reaching an all-time high of 9pc a month ago”. That is slightly different to the Argonne data, which saw BEV market share at 7.8pc in September.

But both JD Power and Argonne align in seeing no significant decline on US BEV new sales market share, as the wider market also shrank in October.

And Krear is optimistic for further translation of the stronger buying interest into future transactions. “EV sales through the first 10 months of the year were 56pc higher than during the same period a year ago.

"With expanding product availability and ongoing market development, share is expected to reach 13pc by the end of 2024 and 19pc by the end of 2025,” she says.

“While it took more than 10 years for the industry to sell its first million EVs, the sales pace has accelerated,” Crear continues. “It took just 18 months to sell the next million, and only 12 months more to reach the three million mark in October.

"The forecast calls for the four millionth unit to be sold next summer.”

But there are still obstacles to moving interest in getting an EV into customers opening their wallets. “Critical issues affecting the pace of adoption continue to revolve around public charging infrastructure availability; reliability; and availability and affordability of mass-market products — particularly in high-volume segments,” she cautions.

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