EV Owners Shifting Back To Gas Power In The US: Nature Energy

Data from the report is likely skewed from the current trends as it is based on a period when EVs & their infrastructure werent as developed.

The Model 3 only came to market in 2018 while the paper takes a period between 2015-2019
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The Model 3 only came to market in 2018 while the paper takes a period between 2015-2019

A study by the University of California, Davis, which has been published by the Nature Energy Journal has shown some disturbing signs for EVs. While the world makes this tectonic shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles, between 2015-2019, 18 per cent of EV owners in California shifted back to gasoline while 20 per cent of the plug-in hybrid owners also did the same. The study reveals the primary culprit for the switch was the lack of reliable level 2 charging, particularly at home. While EVs, despite being more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles, are considered more affordable because of the more affordable nature of charging and almost no after-sale cost which makes these vehicles more reliable, the limitations of range and the time that it takes to charge a vehicle offset these benefits. 

According to the research paper, almost half of the respondents who bought an EV had access to level 2 charging. 30 per cent of them also had proper plugin charging at home and they still dumped their EVs. Interestingly, 54 per cent of the respondents were less likely to buy an EV if they didn’t have access to convenient at-home charging. 


This is the world’s largest supercharger with 56 stalls

In the US particularly, things have moved along quite a bit in the last two years. EVs have become more ubiquitous because of the Tesla Model 3 which has become the best selling executive sedan in the world. Tesla also has a rather affordable SUV in the Tesla Model Y and there is a legion of new vehicles coming to the US mostly from traditional automakers. 

While all of this has happened, the charging technology has moved along. Tesla’s supercharger network has grown while also Volkswagen’s Electrify America has become the biggest charging network in North America. But more players are entering the space like Rivian which is highly capitalised and also pouring its cash into developing its charging network. GM has now partnered with 7 networks via a super app for charging its vehicles. 


The government has also changed in the US. Under Biden, EVs are getting a huge push and if tax credits come back, then things will be even more lucrative for EV adoption. The data from the report is also likely skewed slightly from the current trends because it takes broad 4 year period when EVs and their infrastructure weren’t as developed or refined. 

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