Beyond the Plug: 10 Reasons Why People Refuse to Buy Electric Cars


Electric cars have come a long way in terms of technology and performance.

They offer significant benefits to the environment and the quality of air we breathe.

However, despite the advantages, there are still challenges that need to be addressed.

One of the biggest obstacles to the widespread adoption of electric cars is the hesitancy of some people to switch from traditional gas-powered vehicles.

In this article, we will explore the factors that fuel electric car hesitations and how they can be addressed.

1. More Chargers

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While faster charging and better infrastructure is critical, no one overlooks the fact that people need a charger at home.

Many wonder how they would even charge their cars as they don’t have a garage. “A lot of us don’t have home charging though. Namely apartment dwellers – I doubt property management companies will put chargers in each parking space.”

Another person made an excellent point, saying, “Imagine living in a big city where you have to park two blocks away just to find a spot. Where’s the extension cord gonna go?”

2. Buttons

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While electric and non-electric vehicles have been moving towards touchscreens, EVs have gone a little too far for some.

“I rode in a Tesla once and it was cool, but I hated the computer screen. I can handle Android Auto for navigation and entertainment, but I need solid buttons and gauges that aren’t connected to computers.”

Another person agrees, “Yeah, this is my main hangup about EVs (cost and already having a paid-off car aside) as well, although I suppose it applies to most new cars (I really wish EV drive train conversions were more economical). They’d probably fit my use pattern better than ICEs (I drive infrequently enough–often a few gallons of gas a month–to be a maintenance concern, and rarely very far), but all the computer integration seems like more points of failure, and relying on a touchscreen for major functions is pretty unappealing.”

Finally, one user sums it up with, “I know it’s asking too much, but I’d love to see one without a TV in the center console. How about some buttons and knobs?”

3. Current Car Breaking Down

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Buying a car is a major investment, one that many people don’t like doing until it is absolutely required. As one person said, “For starters, my current car breaking down. I’m not going to buy a new car while I have a paid off car that runs perfectly fine.”

Another person agreed, “This is also me. My next car will be an EV for sure, but that likely won’t be for a handful of years, during which my hope is that they become more affordable and the infrastructure needed to support it continues to grow.”

Yet another also shares this sentiment, “This is where I’m at, too. Just bought a brand new Subaru Forester. I intend to drive it for at least 8-10 years and my plan is that by the time I want a new car that EVs are significantly cheaper and easier to maintain in terms of charging infrastructure & range on road trips.”

4. Waiting For Powerful EV Trucks And SUVs

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While many new EVs are cars, not many are trucks. Nor can they compete with the features of larger trucks.

“I’d love an electric truck that can match the capabilities of my Tacoma at the price point. Soon as that’s available, I’ll buy one.”

Another person added, “I know Reddit likes to hate on big trucks, but some of us do need them for moving equipment/making a living. As mentioned previously EVs can’t touch a diesel for towing/payload capacity.”

Yet another person chimed in with “When they can come with 4×4, so Creek crossings without blowing up, travel 600kms and be able to tow 3500kg. Then I would maybe consider them.”

5. Ease of Repairs

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The concern about the user’s ability to repair and ease of maintenance the car greatly arose in the discussion. One person said, “Make me a simple, right-to-repair EV, that isn’t comprised 90% of computers.”

Another person added, “I won’t ever buy an EV. If anything, I plan on getting an older diesel vehicle because then I can run it on homemade biodiesel. Beyond that, my big issues with EVs are Right To Repair, Planned Obsolescence, and data collection. If I’m buying a vehicle, I’d like to be able to fix it myself instead of paying a sleazy mechanic several hundred dollars to fix it. I really don’t want to have to jailbreak my car just to replace one little piece on it. Secondly, whatever vehicle I get had better be able to outlast me because then I’d know it can handle whatever I put it through. Finally, it’s bad enough that my phone collects an obscene amount of data on me. I’d rather my car not do that too.”

6. When They Stop Becoming Appliances

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A disturbing trend some people are noticing is that cars are starting to feel like appliances. When it breaks, you will toss it in the trash and buy a new one instead of fixing it.

“I’m seeing these electric cars where the whole middle console is a screen, and everything has a whole host of different new ‘safety sensors,’ computer functions, SIRI, self-driving systems etc, and All I see is more things to break or malfunction. More to maintain, and it seems like almost all EV’s are doing it. Cars are gonna become the next smartphone. Use it for 2 years, until everything starts to break down, and then you get a new one. They talk about these being better for the environment, but how much better for the environment would having to scrap your car every 5 years be.”

Another person followed up with, “We’ve been conditioned by the smartphone market to expect our sleek, sexy, expensive tech products to feel obsolete in a couple of years and to simply replace them. Teslas in particular are marketed very much like driveable smartphones. We have a big problem with consumer electronics and appliance waste as it is. Imagine adding cars to that.”

For many people, sticking with a beater car is a smarter option, at least for now.

7. Is Better For The Environment

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There is controversy over how good hybrid and electric vehicles are for the environment. Many people weighed in on this.

“Proof that batteries are not a liability and that it’s actually better for the environment in the long term.”

“An EV isn’t helping the environment if the power that’s used to charge it comes from coal or oil. If the US switched to more nuclear power then I’d consider one.”

“Ending the horrendous conditions and slave labor that mines all the cobalt and lithium in the world. There are people handling mercury with their bare hands and feet while carrying children and mining cobalt. Buying an EV vehicle today is not good for the planet and is contributing to some of the most horrific working conditions on the planet. It’s not just EVs though, most battery run electronics are going to contribute to this. Unfortunately, there is no scenario now where humanity stops hurting this planet. We are addicted to spewing poison into our world, especially if we can spew the poison on people with dark skin.”

8. Better Electrical Infrastructure

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One other main factor is the lack of charging stations to recharge your vehicle. One person said, “As someone living in South Africa where we have regular power outages for at least 4 hours every day. A better electrical infrastructure would be appreciated.”

The problem is felt in the United States, too. Another person posted, “The US still needs better electrical infrastructure. Here in Massachusetts we still get regular emails pertaining to possible outages from our electric company ahead of every storm. And not too long ago there was a complete grid breakdown in Texas due to an unprecedented winter storm and they had no electricity/heat for days and people died. So when the US can keep the power on for everyone in the country, that’s when I’ll seriously consider an EV.”

9. Lower Prices

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The most popular answer was lower prices. They noted that most EVs on the market today are out of their price range, nearing $100K or more. The good news is with more auto manufacturers increasing the number of EV models, more affordable options should soon hit showroom floors.

In the meantime, the high prices are holding many people back. One person said, “A more realistic price tag.”

Another added, “I’m in the US and just saw a new suv EV driving the other day and had to look it up because it was surprisingly very cute lol its the Volkswagen id.4 and online price is listed starting at $38,995. The one with all the bells and whistles starts at $55,245 though which is crazy to me.”

“Price is the biggest factor. Still about $10k from being full mainstream. Most people won’t travel more than 50 miles a day but everyone thinks they need 1000 miles of range and 4 minutes charging.”

“The prices aren’t there yet, and there isn’t a regular ‘economy style’ EV out yet, at least not so far as I’ve seen. Most EV’s on the market are treated and sold as more luxury vehicles.”

While there is the option of the new EV tax credit, not all are fans of this.

A very wise person said, “And ‘government refund’ is actually ‘taxpayer subsidy’.”

10. Faster Charging

Another issue is the amount of time it takes to charge the vehicle. Many people are used to stopping for gas, spending five minutes filling up, and being on their way. They would rather not wait five or more hours to charge their vehicle.

Many people commented with, “faster charging.”

Another person went into greater detail, saying, “The faster charging is major. Until you can charge an electric car in the same time you can refuel a traditional car, wide acceptance will be very hard to obtain.”

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