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Verra Mobility’s survey found that charging and maintenance misperceptions persist as concerns for US drivers—but that 78% of those polled would consider renting an EV as a way to test-drive before buying.

Posted by Staff

June 12, 2023

2 Min Read
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Could renting an EV help end misperceptions about the user experience?Credit: ViktorCap / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Verra Mobility Corp., a provider of smart mobility technology solutions, has released a new report, "The State of EVs, 2023 Report on Smart Mobility" on consumer perceptions of electric vehicles (EVs). Verra Mobility polled 2,000 Americans aged 25 and older on their perspectives around renting an EV, and views around safety, convenience, and the decision to purchase one in 2023. The survey had many surprising findings, including that 78% of Americans would consider renting an EV as a way to 'test drive' the technology before buying.

According to research from Modor Intelligence, the EV rental car market was valued at $9.13 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $20.42 billion by 2027. Verra Mobility found that 27% of survey respondents had previously rented an EV (19% for personal use, and 8% for business). Of those who had rented an EV, 64% would consider buying an EV based on their driving experience.

“Renting an EV is a helpful way to get drivers more comfortable and alleviate concerns,” stated Steve Lalla, executive vice president of commercial services at Verra Mobility. “For many people, driving an EV isn't intuitive. There's anxiety around the unknown, like maintenance, locating charging stations and how to pay to recharge."

Continuing EV misperceptions

Verra Mobility's survey also explored perceptions around EVs, finding that 63% of respondents expected maintenance costs to be higher with EVs versus gas vehicles, despite research from Car & Driver finding the opposite to be true. Survey respondents also thought incidents of roadside assistance would be greater with EVs. However, 77% of respondents felt that EVs were as safe or safer than gas-powered automobiles.

Lalla added: “Consumers are becoming more curious about testing out EVs, and these vehicles present business travelers with opportunities to support their own companies' sustainability efforts. Our survey findings and Verra Mobility's own research illustrate opportunities for the industry to help consumers understand and become more comfortable with the nuances of driving electric.”

Despite the growing popularity of EVs, concerns such as availability of charging stations and cost still remain high as Verra Mobility also found in its own employee focus group. 79% of U.S. drivers polled reported being concerned about range anxiety and noted availability of charging stations as the number one obstacle with (33%) owning/driving an EV, followed by cost (29%). In addition, 40% of those surveyed said they would rent an EV over a gas vehicle if cost wasn't a factor and only 19% said they would rent a gas vehicle regardless of price.

Survey methodology 

The data was derived from a survey by Verra Mobility conducted online via Pollfish on April 28, 2023. 2,000 Americans aged 25 and up completed the survey. To download the full report, visit: https://www.verramobility.com/ev-2023-smart-mobility-survey.

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