Interest in electric vehicles gaining speed, Consumer Reports survey shows

36% of survey takers said they would strongly consider an EV for their next vehicle

As drivers continue to pay $50 to $60 to fill their gas tanks, is it time to plug it in instead? A growing number of Americans says “yes,” or at least “maybe,” according to a Consumer Reports survey.

As drivers continue to pay $50 to $60 to fill their gas tanks, is it time to plug it in instead? A growing number of Americans says “yes,” or at least “maybe,” according to a Consumer Reports survey.

One main reason drivers want to make the switch is due to the high price of gasoline.

In the survey, 36% of people said they would strongly consider buying an electric car.

There are 134,072 electric vehicles registered in Texas, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. While that’s only 1% of all registered vehicles, it’s three times what it was two years ago.

“With improvements to the nation’s charging networks, more lower-priced EVs coming to market, and increasing range from advances in battery technology, many barriers to EV ownership are showing signs of breaking down over time,” said Consumer Reports’ Jeff Bartlett.

But some people have reservations. They cite the purchase price and the cost of repairs as the top cost-related barriers holding them back from getting an EV.

However, compared to the typical life span of a gas-powered car, EVs usually cost less to operate, according to Consumer Reports.

“EVs have fewer moving parts and fluids that need to be changed. Even the brakes tend to last longer. Plus, the cost of powering the car is also far lower, especially now with the elevated gas prices,” Bartlett said.

Mainstream automakers are introducing lower-priced models like the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf, and the Chevrolet Bolt, which starts at $26,595. This puts the Bolt around $20,000 less than the price of an average new car.

Some EVs are also eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, which can effectively reduce the cost of going electric. Texas EV buyers may also apply for a $2,500 rebate. Not all EV purchases qualify for the tax break and rebate, so it pays to verify before purchase.

When and where to charge an EV is another concern. Currently, there are nearly 50,000 charging locations nationwide, and more are coming every month. There are nearly 2,500 in Texas, most of them medium-charge Level 2 stations, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Some charge multiple vehicles at once.

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About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.