We ask electric vehicle test drivers at Milwaukee Auto Show: Would you buy an EV?
A Pew Research Center survey last summer showed U.S. adults divided over whether to buy an electric vehicle for themselves. That division was on display at the just-completed Auto Show in downtown Milwaukee.
Over the weekend, show attendees could test drive any of a half-dozen EV parked outside the Wisconsin Center.
WUWM talked to several people after they took a spin in a sedan with no gasoline engine.
Scott Jerrs describes the yellow-orange Ford Mustang Mach-E drove as, "smooth, peppy and impressive." But is he ready to buy one?
"No, probably not, no. I'm still a little (leery) about the charging of it—how far you can go and having to put a charging station in your own home to power it up all the time," Jurss said.
The range —how far you can go between a full recharge— is improving on EVs, typically to more than 100 miles, with many models topping 200 and even reaching 500 miles—though that EV has a sticker price of $170,000. More chargers are going in at gas stations and other commercial establishments. But EV drivers usually charge their car at home and often have to pay for a faster-charging unit.
A woman who gave her name as Laura also drove the brightly-colored Mustang. She said the ride was "smooth and neat." But Laura said she doesn't plan to be in the car-buying market for a couple years. Then, she said—maybe—an EV.
"Factors going into that consideration would be the price point, and the range we would expect to drive because we do like to take some road trips," Laura said laughing.
Kevin Kane test drove a Volkswagen EV at the Auto Show. He said it was "quiet, solid and high-tech."
His EV purchase plan?
"I'm hoping within the year. I was originally looking at a smaller vehicle. Rather than purchase it, I'm kind of considering a lease. Let somebody else worry about how it turns out," Kane said.
But some people appear ready to buy an electric vehicle —soon. Aminera Garcia stepped away from test driving a silver-blue Mustang EV and said she liked it a lot. Garcia said she and her husband will be purchasing an EV this year.
"It is a big step, but we are ready for it. We figure we want to get rid of the gas. We're done with the gas, so we want to go with the EV. All-electric, get rid of the gas," Garcia said.
Garcia's husband, Joe Garcia also drove the EV, and said he liked it. But he just bought a gasoline-powered vehicle, and said it may take a while before the percentage of electric or hybrid vehicles --currently less than 10 percent of cars on the road--catches up to gas ones.
"Probably, I won't be around. Maybe the kids. But we've gotta get there. We've gotta get away from gas. I understand that. But, I still love my gas car. So, what can I say?" Garcia said.
He's not alone. Most of the vehicles on display inside the Wisconsin Center were fueled by gasoline, including a RAM pickup truck (made by Chrysler Dodge) with a projected fuel economy of 12 miles per gallon.
But that same Pew Research Center poll from last summer found that two-thirds of U.S. adults support providing incentives to increase the use of electric and hybrid vehicles. And the Inflation Reduction Act Congress passed last year does promise financial help for some EV buyers.