New EV owners resist gasoline cars, survey shows

FILE PHOTO: An electric vehicle (EV) fast charging station is seen in the parking lot of a Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas, U.S., December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed/File Photo/File Photo

(Reuters) - First-time owners of electric vehicles were reluctant to switch back to gasoline-fueled cars even as concerns continued to loom about the availability of charging infrastructure, a report from J.D. Power showed on Thursday.

Sales of EVs in the United States jumped to a record high earlier this month with 434,879 new units on the road, however, demand for their hybrid counterparts remained strong as many customers withdrew from EVs due to higher prices, limited driving range and fewer charging stations than required.

"We know from our research that many consumers have concerns during the purchase consideration process with aspects like battery range and vehicle charging," said Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive at J.D. Power.

"However, once someone has purchased a BEV, they're pretty much hooked."

The 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) ownership study showed that satisfaction among owners who are new to BEVs averaged 754 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is comparable to 766 among BEV veterans (those who have owned a BEV prior to their current one).

The study found that Tesla's Model 3 ranked highest overall and highest in the premium BEV segment with a score of 777. The Kia Niro EV ranked highest in the mass market BEV segment for a second consecutive year with a score of 744.

The study took into consideration factors including accuracy of stated battery range, availability of public charging stations, cost of ownership, driving enjoyment, ease of home charging, interior and exterior styling, safety and technology features, service experience, and vehicle quality and reliability.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka and Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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