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About 20 percent of EV buyers return to traditional combustion vehicles

The federal government and many automakers want to keep consumers away from vehicles with combustion engines and prefer electric vehicles. Electric vehicles still pose significant challenges for many consumers with the lack of charging infrastructure available and additional cost compared to traditional combustion vehicles. A new survey was published by Nature Energy that shows 20 percent, or one in five, buying an electric vehicle aimed at gasoline-powered cars.

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The researchers used a sample size of 4,160 people, who purchased an EV in California between 2012 and 2018. This means that the data used is a few years old, and there have been significant advances in the electric vehicle segment since then. Of those surveyed, 1,840 buyers decided what their next vehicle would be after the EV, and that number decided to return to a traditional vehicle.

Those most likely to switch from an electric vehicle to a traditional combustion vehicle were those who depended on EV as their only means of transport. People who lived in places where it was difficult to charge at home also chose to abandon electric vehicles at a higher pace. EVs still cost more than comparable combustion vehicles, making those with lower yields unlikely to transition to electric cars or continue to use them..

The charging infrastructure is a specific problem and worse for some than for others. Those who live in apartments or densely populated urban areas where there are no porters nearby are unable to charge their vehicles. Many workplaces also lack charging infrastructure, which means that there is nowhere for many people to charge an electric vehicle for the required several hours.

Interestingly, the survey also found that women switched to gasoline-powered vehicles at higher rates than men after purchasing an EV. It is not clear why this may be. Women in the research group may have purchased electric vehicles in greater numbers than men, but the demographics of the research group are unknown.

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