Overall vehicle costs and perceptions of battery lifespan regarding battery-electric vehicles are some of the biggest barriers to EV adoption for dealers and consumers according to a report by Cox Automotive on the path to EV adoption, which also reflects trending fleet perceptions of the segment.
Costs that are associated with battery replacement may cause concerns around perceptions of the average lifespan of an EV battery, the survey found. Resistance by fleets to acquire more EVs is also rooted partly in concerns of battery life. The survey found those who are considering an EV expect the vehicles to have a battery life of 6.9 years, and those who already own an EV believe they'll last for an average of 7.2 years. Also, more than half of EV owners bought extended warranties for their vehicles.
An industry panel from Automotive Fleet earlier this year observed that the future of electric vehicles among fleets will be primarily reliant on the pace that battery technology is able to advance at and that battery reliability also needs to be improved.
As the cost of batteries goes down, the cost of the vehicles will also go down, Chris Clarke, ARI's manager of North American remarketing, said at the panel.
Because the mileage of EVs has continued to grow over the years, range has become less of a concern while the infrastructure to support charring stations is a priority, according to the study. Those who participated in that study that are considering EVs said there is a clear need for more charging stations; 68% of respondents said there are too few charging stations in living areas, and 63% said there were too few located in works areas.
The perceptions of fleet also fit into this area, since the prevalence or lack of charging infrastructure is a key factor to acquiring BEVs above and beyond cost considerations, according to recent report from Fleet Forward that compared how TCO for EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models stacked up against each other and against a selection of comparable models with internal combustion engines (ICE).
The main objectives of the survey where to explore the gaps between perceptions of EVs versus current realities in the U.S.; better understand EV shopping experiences; and examine areas deals need to advance EV adoption. The survey was mixed between 2,503 consumers and 308 franchise dealers.
Other points in the study included the observation that Tesla leads all other brands in terms of EV awareness, and perceptions of EV costs when compared with an ICE. It also observed that dealers do not feel a sense of urgency to sell EVs due to lack of inventory levels, perceived profits, and OEM support, but that they also need to be more education on the segment as a whole.