The Future of the EV Movement Depends on Equitable Access

By Amanda Kuhnert

A graph showing the growth of electric vehicles registrations over the past 12 years. Image credit: Drive Electric Vermont

There are more electric vehicles (EVs) on dealers’ lots than ever before. And production continues to ramp up. But will demand meet the growth in supply?

That depends on how easy it is for new groups of consumers to make the switch to EVs.

The early adopters of EVs were, for the most part, affluent suburbanites with garages and driveways where they could install at-home charging stations. For the EV market to grow, electric cars must become an accessible, affordable option for a wider swath of the population.

The opportunity is there. According to a 2023 Gallop poll, 55 percent of consumers say they are seriously or somewhat considering the purchase of an EV. But they haven’t yet taken the plunge.

A survey by S&P Global Mobility found that pricing and limited access to public charging stations are the two biggest obstacles for potential EV buyers.

Accessible public charging

The vast majority of EV owners charge their vehicles at home overnight, according to a 2023 J.D. Power study. But what about apartment dwellers without access to a dedicated charging unit? Young adults (ages 18-29) make up the most promising segment of the EV market, yet are the least likely to live in a single-family home.

For the 31 percent of Americans who live in apartments and condominiums, a lack of accessible charging can be an insurmountable obstacle to going electric. And this market segment is only going to grow as the construction of multi-unit housing outpaces that of single family homes.

Installing charging stations near apartment buildings and in public areas will help increase the adoption of EVs by consumers without access to at-home charging.

If you can install a charger at your home, Green Mountain Power offers a free Level 2 charger with an EV purchase. If you are looking to charge your vehicle at a workplace, multi-unit residence, or public attraction, Charge Vermont can help cover the costs. The program is open to customers of all electric utilities in Vermont. It’s funded by the State of Vermont and administered by Green Mountain Power. Visit for more information.


Cost remains a significant obstacle to EV ownership for less affluent buyers. According to a Gallop poll, most EV owners make more than $100K a year—an income bracket that represents just over a quarter of the US population.

Although the price gap between EVs and gas-powered vehicles has narrowed, electric cars are still more expensive. Bringing down the upfront cost will open the EV market to a new subset of buyers. In fact, when asked in a survey by Plug In America, people considering an EV purchase who make less than $75K a year say they value cost savings over the environmental benefits of going electric. 

Less pricey EV models, like the popular Chevrolet Bolt that retails for about $26K, along with purchase incentives and better financing options, are essential to making EVs a realistic option for consumers on tighter budgets.

Visit to view rebates and incentives available for buying new and used electric vehicles. In addition to a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, Vermonters are eligible for $2,500 to $5,000 for eligible purchases of new EVs, and up to $5,000 for used high-efficiency vehicles. The Replace Your Ride program offers up to $5,000 for families and individuals under certain income levels.  

The bottom line

We’ve made significant strides in the transition to EVs over the past decade. To keep the momentum going, the EV market must expand to include mainstream shoppers. The good news is, thanks to investments in public EV charging stations and more affordable EV models coming on the market, the barriers to entry for these buyers are beginning to come down.


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