LOS ANGELES -- The energy at the Los Angeles Auto Show is electric in both the crowd and cars this year.
After a two-year hiatus, the focus on green energy is undeniable, with traditional new entrants showing their latest electric vehicle offering.
A new survey conducted by the LA Auto Show shows that the EV evolution is top of mind for many in the area. More than 78% indicate their interest in EVs has increased significantly in the last 12-15 months.
"The LA Auto Show has always been in lock-step with the car shopper’s purchasing journey," said Lisa Kaz, owner and CEO of the LA Auto Show. "We know that electrification is the future and the findings from our latest survey confirm that Angelenos are eager to learn about EVs and how they enhance their lifestyle."
Growing appetite for EVs
Kelly Blue Book reports Americans bought more EVs last year than ever before. And while sales are up 88% this year, they still only make up 3% of the cars on the road.
Among new-car shoppers, only 38% indicated that they'd be willing to purchase an EV. But that number drops to 21% when researchers asked if shoppers were "more than 50% confident their next vehicle will be an EV," KBB found. And just 3% said that they would certainly buy one now.
Prices are a big reason for that hesitance as 51% of people think EVs are too expensive.
The Nissan Leaf is currently the least expensive offering on the market at $31,600. That's still not a viable economic option versus other gas offerings. The Leaf only gets 149 miles per charge and takes a while to recharge. But while range anxiety is a big concern, technology is evolving to make that more feasible.
"It means that I don't have to worry about how long it's going to take to charge my car," said Russell Wager, vice president of marketing at Kia America. "It's not going to take four or five hours. Actually, the EV6 takes 18 minutes to go from a 10% charge to an 80% charge on a supercharger."
The price tag of using a supercharger versus a Level 1 is about $60,000, so that's a little unrealistic for the average American.
Cost for owning electric
In 2020, AAA calculated the costs for owning a new compact electric vehicle. They found that the overall cost of electric vehicle ownership is 8% more per year than their gas-powered counterpart.
The electricity required to drive 15,000 miles per year in a compact EV costs an average of $546, AAA said. The amount of gas necessary to go the same distance costs $1,255.
As for maintenance, electric vehicles cost $330 less than gas-powered cars -- a total of $949 a year.
Even with all the EV offerings at the LA Auto Show, many of them are concepts and will not be on the market for a couple of years -- supply chain crisis or not.