energy insights

Survey Reflects Public Support for New Electric Vehicles

A new poll of U.S. voters suggests support is beginning to tip in favor of electric cars over gasoline-powered automobiles as a way to fight air pollution and slow climate change.

The national survey, commissioned by alternative fuels advocate Coltura, suggests 55% of American voters would support a full transition to electric cars by 2030. The poll was conducted in October 2021 and shows 35% of respondents would oppose the switch and 10% are not sure.

Environmental concerns reflected in poll

According to the poll, a majority of respondents favor phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles within this decade to help mitigate localized air pollution and to counter climate change.

The poll included voters in 13 states representing each region of the United States.

  • New York: 66% in favor / 24% opposed
  • Hawaii: 66% in favor / 24% opposed
  • California: 62% in favor / 31% opposed
  • Massachusetts: 62% in favor / 28% opposed
  • New Jersey: 58% in favor / 30% opposed
  • Oregon: 58% in favor / 33% opposed
  • Washington: 58% in favor / 34% opposed
  • Michigan: 55% in favor / 33% opposed
  • Florida: 55% in favor / 37% opposed
  • Nevada: 52% in favor / 39% opposed
  • New Mexico: 51% in favor / 38% opposed
  • Colorado: 50% in favor / 38% opposed
  • Texas: 47% in favor / 34% opposed

While the Coltura poll suggests U.S. voters want accelerated progress toward the EV conversion, other key stakeholders envision a slower transition.

Some see slower transition

A group of automakers, businesses, governments and investors attending the 26th annual UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, U.K. in November agreed to a more gradual march toward zero emissions. They pledged to transition to 100% zero-emission sales of new cars and vans by 2040 globally and by 2035 in leading markets. Fifteen countries pledged to work toward 100% zero emission sales of new trucks and buses by 2040.

However, there were several noteworthy stakeholder groups absent from the climate conference agreement. The world's largest auto markets, including the U.S., China, Germany, South Korea, and Japan, did not make the pledge, and the top two global automakers – Toyota and Volkswagen – also didn't sign.

Electric vehicles have strong support

The U.S. survey revealed strong support for the rapid phase out from younger people and some minority groups. Seventy-one percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 34 supported a 2030 conversion. Sixty-nine percent of black voters and 67% of Hispanic voters said they also would like to see new gasoline-powered vehicles eliminated by the end of this decade.

Coltura’s polling announcement suggests those results reflect a generational sense of urgency as well as a sensitivity to equity and environmental justice.

The poll, conducted by Yale University, George Mason University and Climate Nexus, included 2,678 respondents.