Why Nearly 50% of Electric Vehicle Owners Want to Return to Gas Cars After Major Regrets

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 28, 2024

It turns out nearly half of American electric vehicle (EV) owners are having a change of heart. 

A study by McKinsey & Company reveals 46% might ditch their EVs for traditional gas cars. Major regrets? That’s the main driver behind the shift.

Surprised by the Switch

Philipp Kampshoff from McKinsey’s Center for Future Mobility was taken aback, saying: “I thought, ‘Once an EV buyer, always an EV buyer.’” 

A blue Kia electric vehicle driving on a curved road lined with colorful autumn trees in a serene setting

Source: Hyundai Motor Group/Unsplash

Yet, nearly 37,000 EV owners are showing signs of shifting their loyalties.


Frustrated by Few Chargers

A whopping 35% of global EV owners are irked by the lack of charging stations. 

Nighttime view of Tesla Superchargers, illuminated with red lights, lined up at a charging station

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The U.S. especially feels the pinch, ranking high on the list of countries where the electric dream is a bit disconnected.

The High Cost of Eco-Friendliness

Going green has its price. 

An electric car plugged into a charging station on a city street, surrounded by urban architecture and street furniture

Source: Sue Winston/Unsplash

A significant 34% of EV owners point to steep costs as a major turnoff, making them rethink if the eco-friendly route is worth it.

Road Tripping Woes

Thinking of a long drive in your EV? 

A black Tesla car driving on a forest-lined road in dim light, showcasing the sleek design of the vehicle

Source: Jp Valery/Unsplash

Well, 32% of owners find it more trouble than it’s worth, with constant stops to charge dampening the appeal of long journeys.

Charging at Home? Not So Simple

For some, home charging isn’t an option, turning daily drives into a stressful hunt for power points. 

A woman charging her white electric vehicle at home, using a handheld charger connected to a residential charging unit

Source: Zaptec/Unsplash

This issue has led to regret among some owners about their vehicle purchase.


Not Everyone’s Electric Dream

While the U.S. wrestles with EV doubts, other places like Japan show staunch support with only 13% looking back at gas cars. 

An overhead view of a bustling urban road at dusk, showing cars driving on a multi-lane street with road markings and pedestrian pathways illuminated by street lights

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It’s a mixed bag of electric sentiments worldwide.


Aussies Aren't Amused

Australia is leading the charge in EV buyer’s remorse, even outpacing the U.S. 

Close-up of vehicles lined up in traffic during twilight, highlighting the glow of tail lights and headlights in a congested urban setting

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More Aussies are looking to switch back to gas engines, hinting at deeper issues in the EV experience down under.


A Long Way to the Next Charge

11% of EV owners are miffed by how far they have to travel to charge up. 

Bird's-eye view of a densely packed parking lot filled with cars of various colors neatly arranged in rows, with a large truck at the far end

Source: m/Unsplash

This highlights a significant gap in the infrastructure needed to support widespread EV adoption.


Is Your EV Road-Trip Ready?

Dreaming of hitting the highways in your EV? 

View of a city skyline from a highway perspective, featuring tall buildings and clear skies, framed by highway signage and light traffic

Source: Steijn Leijzer/Unsplash

40% say there aren’t enough charging spots on major routes to make the leap, putting a damper on those road trip plans.


The EPA's Big Electric Push

Despite the growing pains, the EPA is setting ambitious targets: 56% of new cars must be electric by 2032. 

Close-up of an electric vehicle plugged in at a public charging station, focusing on the connection point with a blurred car interior visible

Source: Michael Fousert/Unsplash

It’s a bold move aimed at cutting pollution and propelling us towards a cleaner future.


Looking Down the Electric Road

“The electric vehicle market is growing, but consumers have enough reservations about the current options and charging infrastructure challenges to limit more significant growth in the short term,” says analyst Jessica Caldwell. 

A modern electric car connected to a charging station in a parking garage, showing a blue charging cable plugged into the side of the car

Source: Michael Fousert/Unsplash

As the U.S. speeds toward an electric future, the road remains unexpectedly bumpy.