Electric car owners have an 18 percent chance of returning to cars that run on gasoline, a new study from the University of California shows. The biggest reason for the displeasure turns out to be quite obvious …
More than 4,000 households that own or previously owned electric vehicles in California went back to gasoline and diesel cars, niche site reports Electrek.
The co-authors of the recent study on this, Scott Hardman and Gil Tal, explained owners’ reasons for returning in the journal Nature Energy:
“Based on the results of five questionnaire surveys, we found that 18 percent of plug-in hybrid electric car owners in California are getting rid of their car again. This is mainly related to dissatisfaction with the ease of charging, (…), having no charge level 2 (240 volts) at home, owning fewer household vehicles and not being a man. ”
As the researchers suggest, it is charging the biggest hurdle for electric car owners.
Houses not optimized
In practice, an electric car can get a “full tank of gas” at home in less than two hours. The problem is, most California homes aren’t optimized for charging the cars.
Of those who switched, more than 70 percent had no access to level 2 charging at home, and slightly less than that had no level 2 charging connections near their workplace.
“If you don’t have a level 2 charge, it’s almost impossible”, knows Kevin Tynan, auto analyst Bloomberg. He has tested a wide variety of makes and models of electric vehicles for his research over the years.
Even with the faster charge, a Chevy Volt he tested still took nearly six hours to push its range from low to 300 miles (482 kilometers). This only took him a few minutes at the pump with his SUV.
No use of public charging stations
Public charging stations may look like the electric version of the gas station, but nearly two-thirds of the electric car drivers in the study said they were not using it. Exactly why they did not use the public parking facilities was not specified.
Electric vehicles have come a long way in recent years in terms of range, safety, comfort and technical features, but Hardman and Tal note that very little has changed in the way they are charged.
The researchers warn that this trend could make it more difficult to meet electric vehicle sales targets in California and other countries, and the growth of the market in general.
Tesla vs Fiat 500
A lot also depends on the type of electric car if people are willing to give up or not. Tesla owners are the least likely to trade in their model for gasoline. However, Fiat 500e buyers are most likely to make the switch back.