A study has found that many early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs) regret their decision and go back to using internal combustion engine vehicles.
The study, published in the journal Nature Energy, involved 4,160 early adopters of EVs in California between 2012 to 2018. This found that around 20 percent of these early adopters quickly abandoned their EVs or plug-in hybrids in favor of internal combustion engine vehicles, while another 18 percent of EV drivers returned to gas-powered vehicles with their next car purchases. (Related: EV COLLAPSE: Car dealerships are now rejecting EV deliveries due to low sales.)
The study authors found that those who were least likely to stick with their EVs were the ones who depended on their cars as their only means of transportation, essentially people who only had one car and no other alternative.
“It should not be assumed that once a consumer purchases a PEV [plug-in electric vehicle] that they will continue owning one,” wrote study co-authors Scott Hardman and Gil Tal of the Institute of Transportation Studies in the University of California, Davis. “What is clear is that this could slow PEV market growth and make reaching 100 percent PEV sales more difficult.”
Hardman and Tal noted that EVs have come a long way in the past decade of development, bringing with it greater improvements to the tech features, comfort, safety and range of EVs. But very little has changed in terms of how they are charged.
Lack of dedicated EV infrastructure making more owners switch back to gas
Perhaps just as interesting as the dissatisfaction with electric vehicles, the study also found that many people are less likely to stick with EVs long-term due to the lack of dedicated charging infrastructure, the associated costs with charging EVs and the difficulties with attempting to charge EVs at home.
Early adopters who were more likely to ditch EVs were generally younger, more likely to rent their living spaces and were less likely to live in a standalone house. This makes it very difficult, if not totally impossible, to secure the necessary charging to keep EV batteries full.
Standard home outlets generally deliver 120 volts, powering at a level EV experts call “Level 1” charging, while the higher-powered specialty connections that can pump up to 240 volts into electric cars is known as “Level 2.”
The difference is night and day, according to the researchers. Of those who switched from EVs back to gas cars, over 70 percent lacked access to Level 2 charging at home, and slightly less than that lacked Level 2 connections at their workplaces.
“If you don’t have a Level 2, it’s almost impossible [to keep an EV],” noted Kevin Tynan, an automotive analyst for Bloomberg. Tynan used to own a Ford Mustang Mach-E, a battery-electric crossover SUV. Plugging it into his home outlet for an hour could give the Mach-E just three miles of range.
“Overnight, we’re looking at 36 miles of range,” he said. “Before I gave it back to Ford, because I wanted to give it back full, I drove it to the office and plugged it in at the charger we have there.”
For comparison, it takes an average of three minutes to fill up the gas tank of a Ford Mustang, which has enough range to go about 300 miles before needing to refuel.
Even if public charging infrastructure ended up improving, the study found that these improvements won’t matter, suggesting that other factors are making travelers choose other kinds of vehicles for their trips.
Learn more about electric vehicle usage in the United States at RoboCars.news.
Watch this episode of the “Health Ranger Report” as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, talks about how electric vehicles are specifically designed to let auto companies remotely turn off certain features, including the ability to charge the car.
This video is from the Health Ranger Report channel on Brighteon.com.
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