Electric Vehicle Adoption - Drivers and Barriers

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Electric Vehicle Adoption - Drivers

Some proxy reasons why consumers are adopting EVs in New York include: the cost reduction for EVs in the forms of rebates, the increased number of EV charging locations, EV charging incentives, the elimination of the range anxiety in modern EVs, and the cheaper price of electricity.

Cost Reduction for EVs in the form of Rebates

  • The New York’s Drive Clean Rebate gives residents of the state up to a "$2,000 break when purchasing a new electric car or plug-in hybrid from a participating car dealership".
  • Because of this, the number of EV car sales increased by 74% compared to last year.
  • Electric and plug-in hybrids are also the "fastest-selling cars on the used market". In fact, drivers are more willing to buy them after they’ve taken a depreciation hit.
  • New York has given most consumers EVs a rebate of at least $1,100 for their new electric cars and, as a result of this initiative, more than "10,000 electric cars were sold in 2017, a 67% increase over 2016."

Increased number of EV Charging Locations

  • Charge NY 2.0 is an initiative in New York that encourages and supports electric car adoption by Governor Cuomo.
  • The Governor has acknowledged that the lack of charging locations is a barrier to consumers.
  • With that in mind, the Governor announced a proposal to increase the number of charging stations across New York by the end of 2021, stating that "under the Governor’s Charge NY 2.0 initiative, at least 10,000 charging stations will be made available and the state will expand clean fuel corridors so clean cars can travel throughout New York’s interstate system and recharge at convenient locations."

EV Charging Incentives

  • Since cost is a big factor for buying an EV, the State of New York has given charging incentives to consumers to boost the adoption rates of EVs.
  • This incentive allows EV owners to earn SmartCharge rewards each month by "participating in the program and charging during off-peak hours at certain times throughout the year."
  • The participants also receive a FleetCarma connected car device that facilitates driving efficiency, gives insights into the charging energy consumption, shows trip data and the battery health.

Elimination of Range Anxiety in Modern EVs

  • The latest models of EVs have been successful in eliminating the range problem.
  • The ability of the latest model of EVs to break the 100-mile barrier before having to recharge is a big plus to the industry. So far, however, only eight EV models are able to run for more than 200 miles with a full battery.
  • "The Tesla lead the pack with its Models 3, S, and X topping out at near or above 300 miles per charging session. The more-affordable Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro Electric offer capacities of 258 and 239 miles, respectively, while the Chevrolet Bolt EV is at 238 miles and the coming Nissan Leaf Plus is estimated to run for 226 miles on a full charge."

Electricity is Cheaper than Gasoline

  • The cost of charging EVs is cheaper when compared to cars that use gasoline.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric costs $500 a year for 15,000 miles, based on average power rates. This means that "an Ioniq Electric owner will spend $4,250 less in fuel costs over a five-year period" compared to a person that owns a gasoline-powered vehicle.

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Electric Vehicle Adoption - Barriers

The key barriers to electric vehicle adoption in the United States include charging infrastructure, battery capacity/range anxiety, perceived cost, mindset, lack of variety, and lack of trusted sources of information on electric vehicles.


Comments on Twitter

  • U-boat Captain
  • @Dshep48Shepherd: "What if there is a line up at the charging station, can you afford to wait hours for a charge? Oh and given what you charge for upgrading to sufficient amps to have a charging station, you certainly are gouging every dollar and not promoting electric vehicles."
  • Cllr. Kevin Stephens: @RedGlaws - "What we need is a very good public transport system to get people out of cars. A move to electric vehicles and adequate charging points infrastructure. Agree we need to tackle air pollution and educate people to not leave engines running when cars stationary."





  • When most individuals are purchasing a brand-new vehicle, they typically do not reflect on electric cars, which may be a significant hurdle to the rate of adoption.
  • People have driven vehicles in the same fashion for nearly a century. Hence, electric cars challenge society's existing standards and methods about how to utilize vehicles.
  • Also, most individuals have yet to travel in an electric automobile, which adds to the concept that purchasing electric is not their concern.
  • David Keith, an MIT Sloan professor, believes that as more individuals begin to notice more electric vehicles surrounding them, a social contagion will take place, boosting the volume of electric cars.



Our research began by checking for relevant information on media releases. Some media releases we observed were from The New York Times, Forbes, Gear Patrol, CNBC, Energy News Network, and NGTNews. We want to find mentions of the barriers in the United States. Using this strategy, we located information on some barriers. However, it was not apparent whether the barriers identified were significant.

Next, we expanded our search to include conference papers, government sites, and data from state departments. The intention was to obtain mentions of the barriers and challenges that municipalities have documented from consumers. We examined sites such as New York State Research and Development Authority, as well as education sites such as MIT, which contained conference papers. We analyzed various electric vehicle reports and studies from the site and identified details such as price and consumer mindset, among others, as barriers.

Next, we studied surveys related to barriers to electric vehicle adoption in the United States. Some reports we came across were published by credible sources such as McKinsey, Ipsos, CityLab, and Capgemini. We concentrated on results from the last two years that only concern the United States. With this strategy, we found some mentions of barriers.

To select the five primary barriers to electric vehicle adoption in the United States, we focused on common themes. We bookmarked the most popular ones for listing. We also considered the frequency in which they were mentioned. However, we were unable to determine the five principal barriers to electric vehicle adoption in New York State or the East Coast of the United States. The available information addressed the barriers in electric vehicle adoption in the United States in general.

Next, to find information on the primary barriers of electric vehicle adoption in New York State and East Coast, we explored media releases. Some sources we used included The New York Times, Pacific Standard, Gear Patrol, CNBC, Energy News Network, and NGTNews. Our goal was to observe a discussion of the barriers or challenges specific to these regions in relation to electric vehicle adoption. However, the information found was on buying guides, adoption targets of New York City, and the roll out pace. No information on the barriers to electric vehicle adoption in New York State and the East Coast of the U.S. was available.

Similar to before, we then expanded our search to include conference papers, government sites, and departments of New York City and the East Coast of the United States. We wanted to locate remarks on the barriers and the challenges that the areas have documented from consumers. Some sites we visited included New York State Research and Development Authority. We used the different electric vehicles reports and studies from the site, but the information contained only concerned the role of state public utility commissions in supporting EV utilization, along with an assessment of the energy, economic, and environmental impacts of EVs on the electric grid in New York State. However, there were no specific reports on the barriers to electric vehicle adoption, specifically in New York State and the East Coast.

Afterward, we attempted to triangulate data from various social media platforms, seeking to view consumer comments on the key barriers to electric vehicle adoption, specifically in New York State and the East Coast. We analyzed social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where we utilized Tweetdeck to filter specific tweets. Nevertheless, the comments were diverse and could not be noted as significant, as they lacked suitable statistics to support them. Nonetheless, we noted the remarks under the relevant themes.

Finally, we checked surveys related to the barriers to electric vehicle adoption, specifically in New York State, and then to the East Coast of the United States. However, for both the study target areas, we found no meaningful information. The studies we reviewed were mainly aggregated to the U.S. population as a whole.


Since we were only able to find limited information on social media comments, we opted to expand the search to electric vehicle adoption in the United States.


From Part 02
  • "Some people believe—to some extent because of how popular Teslas are—that only wealthy people can afford electric vehicles"
  • "The problem that we see is that there is not one consistent trusted advisor out there for people interested in purchasing an EV or who just have questions about electric vehicles. And that they can really get lost on their customer journey no matter how far into it they are."
  • "OEM investment in electric cars has led to exciting technological breakthroughs and the promise of reduced emissions, yet so far sales figures have been lower than initially predicted"
  • "If OEMs do not quickly take steps to address the consumer pain points revealed in this study then either rival OEMs or new entrants from other industries will capitalize on future growth potential"
  • "We need charging of electric vehicles to be as easy as driving a gasoline vehicle today. That means building the actual charging stations themselves, and then having an electricity grid that can support this additional demand for electricity. If we want fast charging, that means we need to provide a lot of electricity, often in locations where the grid may not necessarily be built for it today. It also means having mechanics who know how to fix electric vehicles — building out the whole ecosystem is critical and that is going to take a long time"
  • "For 100 years we have driven cars the same way. Electric vehicles challenge our long-held norms and practices about how we use our vehicles"
  • "In Texas you need a truck, if you don’t have an electric truck, we’re gonna continue to not see the pace needed for real growth"
  • "On the consumer side, it’s going to cost more, and right at the same time as incentives are pulling away and overall U.S. fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards appear to be relaxing."