Electric Vehicle plugged in outside

The Top Three Barriers to Electric Vehicle Adoption

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

By: Austin Morton, Element EV Team and Paula Arango, Communications

If you’re looking to transition your fleet to electric vehicles, assessing factors such vehicle costs, range, and infrastructure will help you to determine if you are ready for a gradual or rapid shift. 

Electric Vehicle Charging

The concept of electric vehicles (EVs) has existed for over a century. However, the technology to replace the internal combustion engine (ICE) has only caught up in recent years.  

As OEMs release electric cars and trucks with increased speed and range, the demand for electric vehicles has gradually increased. Yet, there are still barriers to adoption.  

In Element’s 2021 EV Readiness Client Survey, higher vehicle costs, range anxiety, and new charging infrastructure costs were reported as the top three barriers for fleet adoption. In response, we have outlined key points to help you assess the transition to electric vehicles. 

Vehicle Costs:  

The upfront costs of electric vehicles today remain materially higher than those of internal combustion engine vehicles. However, many governments across North America, Europe, and China have introduced financial incentives and rebates which can significantly reduce initial vehicle costs. Operational costs such as electricity compared to fuel are much lower for battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. On top of this, light-duty battery-powered EVs have been found to require 40% less in maintenance spend than their ICE equivalents through simpler powertrains, fewer moving parts and lubricants, and the use of regenerative breaking. 


A major concern for drivers and businesses is the distance electric vehicles can travel without a charge, also known as range anxiety. The good news is that range anxiety usually declines as new EV drivers adapt to charging solutions. According to a 2020 AAA survey, 77% of American EV drivers who had range anxiety pre-purchase reported less or no concern post-purchase. And as technology improves, vehicle ranges are continually increasing. Most new sedan and light-duty truck models planned to launch through 2025 have a range of 250-300 miles per charge.  

Given current range capabilities of electric vehicles, we recommend evaluating which drivers are best-suited for the transition. This may include any combination of:  

  • Drivers with take home vehicles and the ability to install charging stations at home. 

  • Drivers that travel short distances to and from a central location such as their office. 

  • Drivers in regions supported with accessible Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs) from network providers like Tesla, Electrify America, and EVgo. 

Charging Infrastructure:  

Another important factor is how, when, and where the vehicle can be charged. An electric vehicle would be charged most often at the residence of the driver or on the premises of the business. For longer trips, drivers and businesses should be aware of the charging networks in their area. In terms of costs, businesses with take home vehicles can strategically take advantage of off-peak rates in participating utilities by charging overnight or during other off-demand periods when the cost of electricity is lower.  

To learn more about managing the transition to electric vehicles, join our webinar on Tuesday July 20th at 1pm ET where we will hear from Tesla, Enel X, and HP Inc. about their unique insights and experiences with fleet electrification. Register today.

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