Try before you buy: 78% of Americans would consider renting an EV

Try before you buy

New Verra Mobility report says 78% of Americans would consider renting an EV.

Verra Mobility Corporation, a leading provider of smart mobility technology solutions, released a new report, “The State of EVs, 2023 Report on Smart Mobility” on consumer perceptions of electric vehicles (EVs).

According to a press release, Verra Mobility polled 2,000 Americans aged 25 and older on their perspective around renting an EV, and views around safety, convenience, and the decision to purchase one in 2023.

The survey had many surprising findings including that 78% of Americans would consider renting an EV as a way to “test drive” the technology before buying.

According to research from Modor Intelligence, the EV rental car market was valued at $9.13 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $20.42 billion by 2027.

Verra Mobility found that 27% of survey respondents had previously rented an EV (19% for personal use, and 8% for business).

Of those who had rented an EV, 64% would consider buying an EV based on their driving experience.

“Renting an EV is a helpful way to get drivers more comfortable and alleviate concerns,” said Steve Lalla, executive vice president of commercial services at Verra Mobility. “For many people, driving an EV isn’t intuitive. There’s anxiety around the unknown, like maintenance, locating charging stations and how to pay to recharge.”

Verra Mobility’s survey also explored perceptions around EVs, finding that 63% of respondents expected maintenance costs to be higher with EVs versus gas vehicles, despite research from Car & Driver finding the opposite to be true.

Survey respondents also thought incidents of roadside assistance would be greater with EVs.

However, 77% of respondents felt that EVs were as safe or safer than gas powered automobiles.

Lalla added: “Consumers are becoming more curious about testing out EVs, and these vehicles present business travelers with opportunities to support their own companies’ sustainability efforts. Our survey findings and Verra Mobility’s own research illustrate opportunities for the industry to help consumers understand and become more comfortable with the nuances of driving electric.” 

Despite the growing popularity of EVs, concerns such as availability of charging stations and cost still remain high as Verra Mobility also found in its own employee focus group. 79% of U.S. drivers polled reported being concerned about range anxiety and noted availability of charging stations as the number one obstacle with (33%) owning/driving an EV, followed by cost (29%). In addition, 40% of those surveyed said they would rent an EV over a gas vehicle if cost wasn’t a factor and only 19% said they would rent a gas vehicle regardless of price.

Survey Methodology 

The data was derived from a survey by Verra Mobility conducted online via Pollfish on April 28, 2023. 2,000 Americans aged 25 and up completed the survey. To download the full report, visit: https://www.verramobility.com/ev-2023-smart-mobility-survey.

Verra Mobility’s Commercial Services business provides integrated toll and violation management solutions and title and registration services for rental car companies, fleet management companies, corporate fleets, rental car operators, OEMs, car dealerships and financial institutions.

Verra Mobility earlier this year announced its pledge, Zero in on Safety, as a call to action for drivers to commit to reducing dangerous driving behaviors to address unacceptably high traffic fatality numbers across the globe. For more information and to sign the pledge, please visit www.verramobility.com.

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