Affordability, Charging-Infrastructure, & Range-Anxiety Continue To Keep Americans From Embracing EVs

Affordability, Charging-Infrastructure, & Range-Anxiety Continue To Keep Americans From Embracing EVs


While the US and the EU look at different ways to add tariffs to China-made electric vehicles to prevent supply disruption, the reality is, overall demand for EVs is starting to peak.  

Such was the topic of a new FT report that looked into why Americans aren't buying more electric vehicles. 

“It’s just not accessible to us at this point in our life,” one couple told FT, who said they were looking for a more affordable vehicle.

They went with a $19,000 Honda Accord after a trade-in, since only five new EV models under $40,000 have hit the market in 2024, the report says. 


A number of factors have decreased buying of EVs, including among environmentally conscious consumers. Various sources, including FT reported   about the following issues:

1) high EV prices (increase monthly lease payments),

2) high financing interest rates (increase monthly lease payments),

3) short driving range,

4) lack of charging infrastructure,

5) high insurance cost,

6) high on-the-road charging cost 

7) time wasted sitting in vehicle while charging; it takes 5 minutes to fill a gas tank to get about 500 miles of driving, but it take at least 1 to 2 hours to fast-charge a EV battery to get 250 miles of driving

That waste is enormous, if you multiply that time by millions of EVs charged per day.
That waste will make the US worker less productive, further lower his standard of living.

8) high repair and bodyshop cost, and long times for bodyshops to get parts

9) very low resale/trade-in value,

10) low-range during hot and cold weather, especially with a few passengers and some luggage

11) more rapid wear of tires and brakes and expensive replacement cost

12) spending at least "$15000 + labor + hazardous landfill charge" to replace an EV battery in an 8-y-old car

13) worrying about having enough charge, and where to charge, when making a longer trip from A to B

14) worrying about the battery catching fire, while parked in the garage, or on the road

15) inability for an EV to tow almost anything for some distance, without having to recharge along the way


Everett Eissenstat, a former senior US Trade Representative told FT: “There is no question, this list of woes is an explanation of the very slow EV adoption in the US and in Europe. We are just not producing EVs consumers need at prices plus other costs, they can afford”.  That meager result is after more than 10 years of high subsidies, and Media hype.

Harvard Business School, HBS, study examined more than one million customer reviews of charging stations from North America, Europe and Asia over 10 years, finding :

1) EV drivers can expect non-residential charging systems to not work approximately 20% of the time,

2) some of America’s more rural regions are effectively “charging deserts.”



Lack of charging infrastructure and range anxiety remain major concerns. 

Overnight home charging is ideal for EV owners, but those in apartments, especially in states like California, rely on public chargers.

The U.S. has 64,000 public charging stations, compared to 120,000 petrol stations, with only 10,000 being fast chargers.

The comparison is bogus, because it takes 5 minutes to fill a tank, but 1 to 2 hours to fill a battery


As we noted weeks ago, the Biden's administration's plans to build charging infrastructure have been an abject failure

EV buyers are also concerned about limited range, long-distance travel, cold weather, and towing reducing battery life.


“What we’re seeing is the pace of EV growth is faster than the rate of publicly available charger growth,” said John Bozzella, chief executive of US auto trade group the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.


The Biden Administration, meanwhile, has been tackling Chinese supply with tariffs. 

Last month, the administration imposed new tariffs on Chinese imports, including a quadrupling of tariffs on electric vehicles, a tripling on lithium-ion batteries to 25%, and a new 25% tariff on graphite used in batteries, the report noted. 


“This sends a clear signal to China: don’t even think about exporting your cars to the United States,” Wendy Cutler, a former trade official and vice-president of the Asia Society Policy Institute said. 


Jennifer Harris, a former economic adviser to Biden added: “The idea that we should just open our gates and have a bunch of systematic Chinese economic abuses ...and that that’s the answer to climate change is incredibly naive and short-sighted.”


But these tariffs could prevent prices from falling, according to Ilaria Mazzocco, chair in Chinese business and economics at CSIS. 

“It’s not just that the same car costs less in China, it’s that in China you have a wider variety.

US automakers will have the leisure of not having competition, and they’ll be able to focus on making these high-cost trucks,” Mazzocco said. 


And so, the FT report notes that while EV technology and popularity are growing, sales growth has slowed. As a result, automakers are reconsidering manufacturing plans, shifting focus from EVs to combustion and hybrid cars for the US market.


EVs are caught between President Biden's goals of tackling climate change and protecting American jobs.

Biden aims to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, with widespread EV adoption being crucial.

However, he wants to avoid imports from China, the largest EV producer and key raw material supplier. 


Analysts warn that this protectionism could increase EV prices in the US, potentially stalling sales even more and leaving the US behind China and Europe in EV adoption.


Meanwhile, the World Resources Institute states,  75 - 95% of new passenger vehicles need to be electric by 2030 to meet Paris agreement goals, which is an off-the-charts pipe dream.

EV Regret: Almost half of Australian and US EV owners want to go back to a combustion engine (and many in the UK already have)

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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