Is It Really True That Half of EV Owners Are Going Back to Gas? The Truth Is More Complex.

Electric vehicle ownership in America has been increasing, but a recent survey conducted by McKinsey & Company’s Mobility Consumer Pulse survey revealed that 46% of EV owners now intend to "switch back" to internal combustion-powered cars. This unexpected statistic challenges the conventional wisdom that once people go electric, they never go back. As the auto industry works towards mainstreaming EVs, this shift in sentiment raises concerns.

Mainstream Headaches for EVs

The growth of EVs is expected to target lower- and middle-income buyers and newcomers to the electric world. These customers are facing challenges that early Tesla owners did not, particularly in terms of range and public charging availability. The complexity of the situation goes beyond what is reflected in the headlines, emphasizing the need for automakers, dealers, and charging companies to address these issues promptly to maintain electric momentum.

Who Switches Back?

The survey data revealed that around 29% of respondents globally are unlikely to continue driving electric vehicles due to difficulties with charging infrastructure and range anxiety. While this percentage seems significant, it represents only a fraction of new EV owners in the U.S. This trend reflects a changing demographic of EV buyers who have different expectations and needs than traditional EV owners, highlighting the importance of resolving common issues to drive wider EV adoption.

An Education Issue

One of the challenges facing current and potential EV owners is the lack of education around the technology and charging infrastructure. Buyers who are new to EVs may not be adequately informed about charging options, home installations, or the benefits of electric vehicles. The reluctance of some dealers to sell EVs further complicates the situation, as they may not prioritize EV sales due to financial concerns. Overall, there is a need for improved education and support for EV buyers to enhance the ownership experience.

Blazer EV and Ioniq 5 Charging

While the survey results indicate a significant portion of EV owners considering switching back to ICE vehicles, there is also a notable level of loyalty to EVs among respondents. However, to maintain this loyalty and attract new buyers, efforts must be made to address issues related to charging infrastructure and resale values. These factors are crucial in ensuring a positive EV ownership experience and preventing current and potential EV owners from reverting to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.


The survey findings underscore the challenges facing the EV industry as it strives to transition towards mainstream adoption. While a notable percentage of EV owners are contemplating a switch back to internal combustion vehicles, there is still a strong loyalty to electric vehicles among the majority of respondents. By addressing issues related to charging infrastructure, resale values, and education, stakeholders in the EV industry can enhance the ownership experience and drive continued growth in the electric vehicle market. It is essential for automakers, dealers, and charging companies to work together to overcome these hurdles and create a more sustainable and appealing environment for EV ownership.

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