Majority of North Carolina Residents Want Clean Energy and Would Consider Buying an Electric Car

Image of the cover of North Carolina Drive Electric Report 2022

Report Describes Economic Benefits, Positive Health and Climate Outcomes of Driving Electric

North Carolina has an opportunity to build on its economic momentum. We hope state leaders lead NC into a future where residents can enjoy the economic prosperity and other benefits of clean energy.”

— Wendy Philleo, Generation180’s executive director

DURHAM, NC, USA, December 8, 2022 / — A new survey released today finds that nearly two-thirds of North Carolinians hold a positive view of electric cars and support transitioning away from fossil fuels toward clean energy sources, according to clean energy nonprofit Generation180.

The findings were published in the inaugural report, North Carolina Drives Electric 2022, an overview of the benefits of and barriers to electric mobility in the state, which features stories from North Carolina electric vehicle owners about why they drive electric. The report comes out almost exactly one year after Toyota announced plans to build a $1.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant near Greensboro. Along with auto manufacturers Vinfast and Thomas Built Buses, the growth and expansion of EV manufacturing plants in North Carolina will create thousands of new, local, good-paying jobs.

The representative statewide survey of 1,202 North Carolinians found that:

– 65% of North Carolinians have a positive view of electric vehicles;

– More than half (52%) of North Carolina residents are likely to consider an EV for their next car; and

– 67% of North Carolinians support transitioning away from fossil fuels toward clean energy sources.

“North Carolina residents want electric cars, and that’s not surprising because they’re more fun to drive and cost less over time than gas-powered cars,” said Stuart Gardner, director of Generation180’s Electrify Your Ride Program. “If you want to save money, it’s smart to choose electric.”

North Carolina ranks sixth in the nation for drivers spending the highest percentage of their income on gas. For low-income households, transportation consumes nearly 30 percent of total income – and fuel costs can be the most volatile. Driving electric also lowers our country’s dependence on foreign oil, which reduces that price volatility, the report highlights.

Notably, rural drivers stand to benefit significantly from EV driving and could save thousands in maintenance costs in the long term, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

North Carolina Poised to Lead on Clean Energy

“North Carolina has an opportunity to build on its economic momentum. Will it choose to continue leading the way toward a clean energy economy, or will it fall behind other states? We hope state leaders step further into a future where North Carolina residents can enjoy the economic prosperity and other benefits of clean energy,” said Wendy Philleo, Generation180’s executive director.

In addition to economic benefits, electric vehicles bring significant, positive health and climate outcomes. According to the American Lung Association, health impacts of tailpipe pollution are predicted to cost North Carolinians more than $1.6 billion through 2050 in emergency room visits, lost workdays, and premature deaths. With transportation as the state’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, switching to electric driving immediately cuts pollution and climate-harming tailpipe exhaust.

Report authors cite product availability, cost, and limited charging options as the biggest barriers to electric vehicle adoption in North Carolina. Unlike many other states, North Carolina doesn’t offer state EV rebates or have policies requiring manufacturers to make more EV models available to North Carolina residents. In the survey, 69% of respondents indicated support for state-level EV purchase or leasing incentives.

“North Carolinians stand to benefit from further embracing electric vehicles. Not only will they save money on fueling costs and reduce the state’s dependence on imported gas, but they will help address the state’s largest contributor to carbon emissions. We hope more North Carolinians will consider an EV for their next car,” said Gardner.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there are 47,839 zero-emissions vehicles registered in the state. To meet Gov. Cooper’s goal of 1.25 million zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles in the state by 2030, EV sales will need to grow much faster.

The report is the latest state survey about consumer views on electric vehicles from Generation180, which has produced similar reports about Virginia residents since 2019. The research survey was conducted by Dynata Research on behalf of Generation180. For more detail about the methodology for data collection and analysis and access to a copy of the report, photos, and/or graphics, please visit this link.


About Generation180

Generation180 is a national non-profit organization working to inspire and equip people to take action on clean energy in their homes, schools, and communities. Generation180 is focused on the unparalleled opportunity before us for a healthier, more equitable clean energy future. Learn more at

Our national Electrify Your Ride (EYR) campaign is accelerating the transition to electric vehicles by building awareness about EVs, transforming EV owners into advocates, and overcoming barriers to make EVs more accessible. We produce original research and mobilize our advocates to help educate policymakers and the public about the need for equitable transportation policies. Visit our website to learn more and join the 12,000 Americans who have pledged to make their next car electric.

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