Updated: Mar 15, 2022
Earlier this year, we shared a survey asking West Chester area residents to share their thoughts on electric vehicle (EV) ownership. We were curious to find out how many of our neighbors are already driving EVs, or what concerns they had about making the switch. We had a great responses with over 350 residents completing the survey!
Of the respondents, 11.3% currently owned an EV or PEV (partially electric vehicle, such as a plug-in hybrid). That's a bit above the national average of 8%. Encouragingly, almost 36% of respondents reported a high probability that their next vehicle purchase would be an EV or PEV (with a further 21% saying "Maybe"), so those numbers may be increasing soon. Of those who indicated high likelihood of purchasing an EV in the future, a full third felt this purchase would occur in the next two years.
It is great to hear that so many people in our area are getting "charged up" about EV ownership! After all, as more of us get on board with the fact that EVs are nomal now, our communities will see numerous benefits, including:
Better air quality, leading to improved health
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, slowing the disruption of our climate and reducing impacts and costs
Improved energy security and reduced reliance on oil imports
And of course, there are selfish reasons to switch as well: Electric vehicle owners experience 50-70 percent lower fuel costs, fewer maintenance expenses, and potentially longer vehicle life, according to the Pennsylvania DEP's Electric Vehicle Roadmap.
So what's keeping folks from making the switch to EVs? Our survey showed a few clear perceived barriers to adoption, including concerns about EV range, the number of publicly available charging stations, ability to charge at home and vehicle prices. These concerns are not new, but the good news is that we are making progress on reducing these barriers. For example, with a number of new EV models releasing this year, there are as many as 20 EV options with a range of 300 miles or greater. And just last month, the Department of Transportation and Department of Energy announced a $5 billon investment in a nationwide EV charging network in the next five years. The administration is also working to add new incentives on EV purchases that could significantly offset the sticker price.
This excerpt from the survey illustrates how at-home charging is viewed as a requirement for EV acceptance. 18% of survey respondents indicated that they do not have access to off-street parking at home.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! Check in regularly at the West Chester Area Clean Energy Future Resources page for info about EVs and other clean energy opportunities in our area. And find responses to many of the questions that EV Survey responders asked on our new FAQ page.