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Is the Future of Mobility a Distant Future?

A recent NACS survey finds consumers are still hesitant to buy an electric vehicle.
a Tesla charging

The older we get, the fewer "firsts" we experience. But during the 2022 NACS Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, I experienced my first time in a Tesla. Besides not knowing how to open the door, I enjoyed the ride. And it didn't end there — over the next two days, I would find myself in a Tesla not once more, but twice more. And no, I still didn't know how to open the door.

I began to wonder jokingly if you needed to own a Tesla to drive for Uber in Nevada. The truth may be that Las Vegas is more flashy than my hometown of Staten Island, N.Y. Or it may be that, with gas prices still above $5 a gallon in the city, motorists find driving an electric vehicle (EV) a more viable choice. 

Interestingly, the pain at the pump is not driving all motorists to consider switching to an EV. According to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels Survey, only 36 percent of drivers who intend to buy or lease a new car within the next two years say they would consider purchasing an EV, with convenience listed as a concern. Additionally, 60 percent of drivers think charging an EV would be difficult outside of their home, and 54 percent believe EVs are less reliable than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

We often talk about the future of mobility and preparing to meet the changing needs of motorists. California is even pushing that future closer to reality with regulatory moves aimed at banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles — and New York may soon follow if Gov. Kathy Hochul has her way.

However, consumers are clearly not there yet. Yes, convenience and gas retailers need to be ready for the change, but is that change coming tomorrow? It doesn’t seem so. It seems there is still more work to do to prepare consumers for the future of mobility. 

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