Almost Half of American EV Owners Considering Returning to Gas-Powered Vehicles

Insufficient charging infrastructure is deterring people from purchasing EVs.

A few years ago, automakers began unveiling ambitious plans to transition their lineups to battery-electric vehicles, with some even setting deadlines to cease gas-powered car production. However, many are now reassessing the future. Sales are slowing for some brands but not others, consumer interest is waning, and nearly half of EV owners in America are considering a switch back to gas. What’s happening?

According to McKinsey & Co.’s 2024 Mobility Consumer Pulse study, 46 percent of EV owners in the United States, significantly higher than the global average of 29 percent, are inclined to return to gasoline cars due to inadequate charging infrastructure. Thirty-five percent of global respondents believe the public charging network is insufficient. Additionally, 34 percent mentioned that the cost of EV ownership remains too high, while 32 percent cited the impact of EVs on their driving patterns during long trips.

The US charging network is expanding, which could potentially address these challenges for EV owners. As of May, the country had 183,000 public EV chargers, but this number remains insufficient. The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated $5 billion in grants to construct fast chargers, but the rollout is progressing slowly due to a complex array of local, state, and federal regulations, as well as varying consumer needs.

Other reasons cited by owners for potentially switching back to gas include the inability to charge at home (24 percent), the stress of worrying about charging (21 percent), and the demands of charging mobility requirements (16 percent). Only 13 percent said they did not enjoy the driving experience. Some people simply prefer driving a combustion car, including 18 percent of US respondents and 28 percent in Germany.

The study also highlights why automakers appear disjointed in their EV efforts. Growth and the inclination to switch back vary worldwide, with some markets converting faster than others. This disparity puts automakers in a challenging position as they try to meet diverse needs across different regions.

Surprisingly, Americans aren’t the most eager to switch back to gas. In Australia, known for its vast interior, 49 percent of EV owners are considering a return to gasoline. Conversely, in Japan, only 13 percent of owners might switch back to a combustion-powered vehicle.

Other countries below the worldwide average include Italy (15 percent), France (18 percent), Germany (24 percent), and China (28 percent). Brazil joins the US and Australia above the average at 38 percent.


  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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