Growing Interest and New Federal Funds Drive State to Plan for the Future
More than half of Texas voters under the age of 45 say they have purchased or are considering purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), according to a new statewide poll of more than 600 voters conducted by Texas 2036.
The results come as electric vehicles increasingly emerge as a key driver of the state and national economies, with an 8 million square foot Tesla Gigafactory opening near Austin, a network of charging stations expanding statewide, and waiting lists growing for various types of EVs, including Ford F-150s.
The findings provide valuable data to state leaders as the Texas Department of Transportation seeks input in developing its EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan. This is due by August and is required by the bipartisan infrastructure law which provides $407.8 million to Texas over five years to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure along public roads to establish an interconnected network across the state.
“Our data shows that young Texas voters have a strong interest in EVs and that up-and-coming drivers are more likely to buy them than their parents or grandparents,” said Rob Orr, a senior policy advisor at Texas 2036. “As EV adoption rates by consumers and industry grow through natural market forces, this is a rare opportunity where we can plan our infrastructure in a future-focused manner to address an issue before it becomes a problem.”
Overall, most Texans (62%) still say they have not considered purchasing an electric vehicle, with just 35% saying they have bought or are considering buying one. But those numbers correlate heavily with the respondents’ age.
- Among 18-to-34-year old’s, 53% have purchased or considered purchasing an electric vehicle, while 41% have not, with the remainder saying they are unsure.
- Among 35-to-44-year old’s, 56% have purchased or considered purchasing an electric vehicle, while 42% have not.
- Among 45-to-54-year old’s, 34% have purchased or considered purchasing an electric vehicle, while 66% have not.
- Among voters over 55, just 20% have purchased or considered purchasing an electric vehicle, while 77% have not.
Across age groups, voters who said they have purchased or are considering EVs cited environmental, financial, and consumer concerns as their primary reason.
- 41% cited reducing auto emissions that contribute to climate change.
- 28% cited the rising cost of gas.
- 19% cited new technologies or other features in EV models.
Among voters who are not considering EVs, many said the vehicles are too expensive (30%), that they prefer a traditional gas or diesel car or truck (23%) or have concerns about the battery running out before reaching their destination (14%).
“Even as Texas remains the unparalleled leader in oil and gas production, EVs appear to be part of a wave of the future for a variety of reasons, including economic reasons. It’s vital that policymakers prepare for expanded consumer demands and expectations,” said A.J. Rodriguez, Texas 2036 Executive Vice President.
Since 2016, Texas has collected at least $3.5 billion annually in motor fuels taxes, peaking at $3.74 billion in 2019. These taxes are charged on each gallon of fuel sold in Texas, including gasoline and diesel at $0.20 per gallon. Of these funds, 75% are used to support transportation infrastructure, and 25% are used to support public education. With increased construction costs, state motor fuels tax rates unchanged since 1991, and potential shifts in market demand for motor fuels, it’s important that we prepare now to ensure a stable revenue stream adequate to fund Texas’ future infrastructure needs.
The survey polled 601 registered voters between March 17 and 22, 2022. The results have a margin of error of ± 4.0% at the .95 confidence level. The interviews were conducted via cell phone (32%), landline (17%), and online (51%).
To view the poll results, visit www.texas2036.org/poll.