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Electric Vehicle Sales Slow Amid Mainstream Consumers’ Concerns About Recharging

electric vehicles

Automakers are reportedly anticipating a slower rate of growth in sales of electric vehicles (EVs).

While early adopters contributed to a rapid rise in EV sales, mainstream consumers are less eager to transition to the new technology, CNBC reported Wednesday (March 13).

The industry has seen EVs’ rate of sales growth slow, available inventory pile up and prices discounted, according to the report.

The lack of a reliable and convenient charging infrastructure has contributed to mainstream consumers’ reluctance to adopt EVs, the report said.

While automakers that previously announced ambitious EV targets have not formally modified those targets, there has been a change in tone and a greater emphasis on offering a variety of vehicles that includes hybrids and gasoline-powered vehicles alongside EVs, per the report.

Today, hybrid sales are growing at a rate five times faster than EV sales, according to the report.

Sales of EVs are expected to continue to increase, and automakers still expect an all-electric future, but the rate of growth has slowed from the highs seen in 2021 and 2022, the report said.

The industry’s strategy moving forward depends on part on regulatory pressure in the United States and Europe, per the report. Requirements around vehicle emissions and fuel economy have driven the rollout of EVs and will determine how vigorously automakers will press the transition to EVs.

PYMNTS’ Karen Webster wrote in December: “Electric vehicles are having their own early adopter moment.”

While early adopters were eager to be the first to own an EV — and probably had another vehicle to drive while the EV was recharging — mainstream consumers are more concerned about EVs’ shorter driving ranges and unreliable charging infrastructure, Webster wrote.

Automakers’ recent earnings reports showed that the road to EV adoption may be longer and bumpier than previously expected, PYMNTS reported in February.

Tesla cautioned that its vehicle volume growth rates may be slower than those seen in 2023, Ford cut the price of one of its EVs, General Motors scaled back its production plans for EVs, and Rivian cut staff.

Rivan CEO RJ Scaringe said: “We firmly believe in the full electrification of the automotive industry, but recognize in the short-term, the challenging macroeconomic conditions.”