Research: Almost Half of Electric Vehicle Owners in the United States Considering Returning to Gas-Powered Vehicles


Over the past few years, there has been a significant push by automakers to transition their lineups to battery-electric vehicles, with some even setting deadlines for ending gas-powered car production. However, recent trends have shown a shift in consumer interest and sales, leading to a reevaluation of the future of electric vehicles (EVs). A study by McKinsey & Co. reveals that nearly half of EV owners in the United States are considering switching back to gasoline cars due to factors such as inadequate charging infrastructure, high ownership costs, and impact on driving patterns. This article will delve into the reasons behind this potential shift and the challenges facing the EV industry.

Challenges with Charging Infrastructure

One of the primary reasons cited by EV owners for considering a switch back to gas is the inadequate charging infrastructure. McKinsey & Co.’s study shows that 46 percent of EV owners in the United States feel that the public charging network is not yet up to par. Additionally, 35 percent of global respondents share this sentiment, highlighting a widespread issue in the EV market. Despite efforts to expand the charging network, such as through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocating funds for fast chargers, there are still challenges in the rollout process due to various regulations and consumer needs.

Ownership Costs and Driving Patterns

Another significant factor contributing to the potential switch back to gas is the perceived high ownership costs of EVs. According to the study, 34 percent of respondents feel that the costs associated with owning an EV are prohibitive. This includes factors such as the initial purchase price, maintenance, and charging expenses. In addition, 32 percent of respondents reported that EVs impact their driving patterns on long trips, which could be a deterrent for those who rely on their vehicles for travel.

Concerns about Charging Accessibility

In addition to the overall charging infrastructure, specific concerns about charging accessibility were also raised by EV owners. A notable proportion, 24 percent, cited the inability to charge at home as a barrier to continued EV ownership. This highlights the importance of convenient and accessible charging options for consumers. Furthermore, 21 percent mentioned the stress of worrying about charging, indicating that the anxiety surrounding charging availability and logistics could be a significant drawback for some EV owners.

Preference for Combustion Cars

Interestingly, the study also revealed that a percentage of EV owners are considering switching back to gas simply because they prefer driving combustion cars. In the United States, 18 percent of respondents expressed a preference for traditional vehicles, while the number was even higher in Germany at 28 percent. This suggests that there is a segment of the population that enjoys the driving experience of combustion-powered vehicles and may not be fully convinced by the capabilities of EVs.

Global Variances in EV Adoption

The study highlighted significant variations in the willingness of EV owners to switch back to gas across different countries. While the United States is above the worldwide average, with 46 percent of owners considering a return to gasoline cars, other countries exhibit different levels of reluctance. Australia leads the pack with 49 percent of EV owners contemplating a switch, while Japan is at the opposite end of the spectrum with only 13 percent. Countries such as Italy, France, Germany, and China fall below the global average, suggesting that not all markets are progressing at the same rate in terms of EV adoption.


The challenges facing the EV industry, including concerns about charging infrastructure, ownership costs, and driving patterns, are driving some EV owners to consider switching back to gas. The varying levels of EV adoption across different countries further complicate the efforts of automakers to cater to a diverse consumer base. Addressing these challenges will be crucial for the continued growth and sustainability of the EV market in the future.

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