Story at a glance

  • A survey says 55.9 percent of car owners aim to buy an EV or hybrid as their next car purchase.
  • Most people drive gas-powered cars, mainly due to cost and charging station barriers.
  • Environmental concerns are the primary driver behind EV’s popularity.

The popularity of electric vehicles (EV) in the U.S. continues to rise, with new national data suggesting that a majority of Americans are likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle as their next car purchase.

CarMax conducted a national survey polling individuals’ sentiments on purchasing a car that runs on electricity rather than gasoline. 

Surveying more than 1,000 people in a representative sample, interest in purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle has risen over the years, with 55.9 percent of car owners saying they are “likely” to purchase an electric vehicle or hybrid as their next car purchase. This comes despite a comparable majority — 55.1 percent — saying they haven’t been behind the wheel of an electric vehicle or hybrid yet.

The percentage of all car sales that compose electric vehicle sales are still minuscule, with 2020 only seeing 3.4 percent of all car sales be hybrid or electric car sales. But with new environmental reports outlining the dire condition of climate change, more people are growing conscious of their carbon emissions.


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Although more than three-quarters of Americans own gas-powered vehicles, a combined 60 percent of respondents reported being either “moderately” or “extremely” concerned about fuel emissions into the atmosphere. 

This growing concern could translate to increased electric vehicle sales, especially as major car companies like Volkswagen, Volvo, Ford and Chevrolet make strides in introducing sustainable car options in their catalogues. 

“For most people, the top benefit of hybrid and electric vehicles wasn’t personal: It’s for the environment,” the report reads. 

The data helps further this theory; 68.4 percent of respondents noted the main incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle are the environmental benefits. 

For those who are less enthusiastic about switching to an electric car or hybrid, the expense of maintaining one is the main cost, with the limited availability of charging stations being the second chief concern. 

Recent legislation put forth by the Biden administration has worked to overhaul these concerns. The famous, all-encompassing infrastructure bill allocates billions of funding to provide enough car chargers nationwide to further incentivize switching to a hybrid or electric car. 

While both U.S. infrastructure and consumer enthusiasm need to see further growth, 89.5 percent of car owners believe hybrid vehicles are becoming more popular, and a whopping 91.8 percent believe sustainable cars will outnumber traditional gas-powered vehicles by 2050.


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Published on Sep 15, 2021