Tesla and Toyota are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs). The Austin-based automaker leads the charge as the largest EV producer and seller in the world. Meanwhile Toyota is the top-selling automaker in the world, yet has just one fully electric vehicle on sale in North America, the bZ4X (when you add hybrids, and their luxury brand Lexus into the mix, that number jumps to two dozen “electrified” vehicles).
Despite this vast difference, and the fact Teslas are the most American-made vehicles, the majority of Americans picked Toyota over Tesla when asked about their preferred EV brand.
That’s according to the results of an Ipsos survey, which asked 1,025 Americans about their EV buying preferences. The results show that 30% of respondents would prefer Toyota, while 23% would prefer Tesla when thinking about purchasing an EV. Honda (20%), GM (15%), and Ford (14%) rounded out the top five choices.
Given that Toyota only has one fully electric model, but two dozen hybrid electric cars, results from other questions in the survey show why the majority of Americans might pick Toyota over Tesla. Only 31% said they were likely to purchase an EV, which in the survey included both battery electric and hybrids. Showing that there is still a lot to do when it comes to education about EVs and their benefits, the main reasons keeping people from going fully electric were cost (70%), range (73%), a lack of charging infrastructure (77%), and environmental impact (66%).
Also showing that a lack of education is still a major barrier to EV adoption, only 20% of buyers were aware of recent price cuts by Tesla that have made their cars more affordable than ever, even more affordable than the average gas-powered car sold in the US. Additionally, only 20% were aware of recent deals by Ford, GM, and now more than two dozen automakers, that will extend access to Tesla’s Supercharger network to other EV brands. The survey was conducted between September 29 and October 1, 2023, before Toyota and Lexus announced they were also adopting NACS.