Nearly half of US electric vehicle owners are ‘very likely’ to switch back to gas-powered cars, study shows

A recent study conducted of nearly 37,000 mobility consumers revealed a staggering number of electric vehicle owners are likely to switch back to internal combustion engine cars.

The study conducted by the trusted McKinsey and Co. asked over 200 questions to consumers in 15 countries since 2021. The countries surveyed make up more than 80% of the sales volume in the market.

Responses showed that 29% of EV owners globally said they were “very likely” to switch back to a combustion engine, mostly due to difficulty in charging.

‘Within the next 10 years, I will replace my private vehicle completely with other forms of transport.’

However, where the worldwide numbers were less than a third, nearly half of respondents from the United States said they were “very likely” to switch back.

The top five countries very likely to switch back were:

  1. Australia – 49%
  2. United States – 46%
  3. Brazil – 38%
  4. China – 28%
  5. Germany – 24%
The biggest reasons, according to the study, for hesitancy with EV models were technology skepticism and the cost of ownership.

Over half (55%) of EV skeptics didn’t want to occupy themselves with new technology, while 45% of skeptics thought the cost of ownership was too high. Another figure of 33% represented those who had concerns about charging.

The data dating back to 2021 also showed a slight rise among car owners in the desire to own an electric vehicle.

Those who said their next vehicle would be a battery-powered electric rose from 14% to 18% from 2021-2024.

The number of those who said they would buy just one more new gas car rose from 14% to 17% over the same time period.

The highest responses, however, have been from those who do not want to switch to EV; a number that has decreased slightly from 24% to 21% over that timeframe.

Demographics of those considering an electric vehicle for their next purchase included wealthier individuals, with those who are looking to buy one earning an average of $6,230 USD per month, versus $4,235 per month from the skeptics.

The average age of “EV considerers” is 42, with 68% of them considering themselves as tech-savvy.

“Within the next 10 years, I will replace my private vehicle completely with other forms of transport.”

Just 29% of consumers agreed with this statement; the biggest reasons being that cars are becoming too expensive, sustainability, and remote work.

As for autonomous vehicles, consumers don’t seem ready for those quite yet. There have been some serious issues with the products in California, perhaps lending to the fact that the United States led the way with 41% of respondents saying they would never be comfortable with such vehicles.

Chinese and Brazilian respondents were most comfortable with immediate implementation of unmanned cars, at 31% and 29% respectively. No other country came close. Most countries hovered between 55-65% in terms of being ready for autonomous cars in “a few years,” with only the Americans responding under the 50% margin.

The study seemed to show that at least in 2024, most people are not ready to swipe their phones across their window to gain entry to their cars.

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