Are EVs running out of juice? Survey finds Americans aren’t ready to give up on gas

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
One of the biggest trends in the automotive world right now is the proliferation and normalization of electric vehicles. It wasn’t long ago that EVs were shunned as short-range lunchboxes on wheels, machines completely devoid of anything resembling sex appeal or style. Brands like Tesla and Rimac have finally made EVs “cool,” but it’s easy to forget that battery-powered cars still have a long road ahead of them to reach mainstream success.

According to a new survey done by ReportLinker, there may be more resistance to the EV revolution than once thought. In short, most Americans don’t see electric cars as a viable alternative to their gas-powered cousins, citing underdeveloped charging infrastructure and high prices as barriers to entry. The standout figure? Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said they wouldn’t consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase.

We should clarify that ReportLinker’s sample size was relatively low, with just 507 respondents voicing their opinion. Also, Tesla fans will be quick to point out that EVs are hotter than ever in 2016. The upcoming Model 3 had one of the biggest product launches in history with some 373,000 pre-orders logged. That said, the lack of chargers outside metropolitan areas remains a major sticking point for consumers, and until they’re as common as corner gas stations, that may not change.

EV article graph

Millennials — who grew up at a time when the notion of plugging in your car at night isn’t as crazy as it once was — have often been identified as the group that will push EVs further into the mainstream. However, fewer and fewer of them are interested in buying a car at all. Many millennials live in cities where public transportation and ridesharing services are viable options, so even though they’re more open to giving up gas for good, they may never entertain the option of purchasing a daily driver in the first place.

Despite everything you’ve just read, the future is quite bright for electric cars. Tesla’s popularity is skyrocketing by the week, and brands like Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Volkswagen are investing heavily in battery tech. As with most things, the key to progress is education. In ReportLinker’s survey, just 15 percent associated Toyota with electric vehicles, despite the fact that the Prius is the most successful hybrid of all time. Furthermore, the average driver only commutes 29 miles or so per day, which means concerns over range anxiety are often blown out of proportion.

Product Review

Want an electric car that doesn't look like an electric car? Meet Audi's E-Tron

The 2019 Audi E-Tron is the German automaker’s first series-production electric car. Rather than make a bold statement with its first electric vehicle, Audi chose to make the E-Tron as much like its other cars as possible.

Leaf electric-car batteries can outlast vehicles by up to 12 years, Nissan claims

Nissan Leaf batteries have roughly twice the lifes pan of the cars they're installed in, according to an executive from the automaker. Nissan is investigating alternative uses for those batteries.

EV owners may still need to stop at a Chevron station, but not to buy gasoline

EVgo, the operator of a sizable network of electric car charging stations, has partnered with Chevron. Five Chevron stations located in California will install EVgo chargers that electric car owners can pay to use.

Don’t trust Tesla’s new autonomous lane-changing feature, Consumer Reports warns

Consumer Reports warns that last month's Autopilot updates that enabled automatic lane changing may put you at risk of a ticket or accident. Reaction times lagged what a human could do, testers say.

Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV tries to balance power and efficiency with mild-hybrid V8

The redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLE will get a V8 mild-hybrid powertrain when it launches in the United States later in 2019. The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 makes 483 hp on its own, but can also get a 21 hp electric boost.

Audi TT will get the ax to make way for electric cars — and the R8 may be next

Once a design leader, the Audi TT will meet its demise to make room in Audi's lineup for more electric cars. Audi executives confirmed plans to kill off the TT at the automaker's annual shareholder meeting.

Honda recalls 119,000 2019 CR-V crossovers over fears of airbag deployment

A manufacturing defect in select 2019 Honda CR-V crossovers could cause the airbag to malfunction and unexpectedly deploy, leading the automaker to recall some 137,000 vehicles worldwide, 118,598 of them in the U.S.

Cadillac confirms V-Series performance versions of the CT5 and CT4

Cadillac will unveil CT5-V and CT4-V sports sedans in Detroit May 30. They will be the latest cars in the General Motors luxury brand's V-Series performance line, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

Watch Cruise Automation’s driverless car perform one of the trickiest maneuvers

Unprotected left turns in urban environments are one of the trickiest maneuvers a driver has to perform — and the same goes for self-driving cars. Autonomous-vehicle company Cruise Automation appears close to nailing it.

Lyft’s wallet-friendly Shared Saver option arrives in six more U.S. cities

Lyft is expanding its wallet-friendly Shared Saver option to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle after launching it earlier this year in Denver, New York City, and San Jose.

You can operate this BMW on a busy sidewalk without getting arrested

Forget driving: BMW released the ultimate riding machine. The German company teamed up with Switzerland's Micro to design a trio of scooters designed for last-mile mobility in crowded city centers.

Tesla to cap charging at busy Supercharging stations at 80%

Tesla will be updating some of its supercharger stations to impose limits on how much a car can be charged in a single period. The new limits will allow users to only charge up to 80% at busy stations.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Tricked-out e-scooters and bike lights that lock

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

How Verizon and Team Penske used 5G to help win the Indy 500

Team Penske, the most successful race team in Indy 500 history, used Verizon 5G in its bid to win the 2019 Indy 500. Modern race cars generate tons of data, and a 5G connection lets teams harvest that data faster.