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Do electric vehicle owners switch back to gasoline power plants? In a recent California study, it appears that almost 20% of EV owners will return to traditional combustion engines. The study clearly states that owners make the switch back solely because of the poor charging infrastructure. California happens to be one of the most EV-friendly states in America which paints a grim picture for states that are lacking EV infrastructure.

In a study conducted by Scott Hardman and Gil Tal for the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, CA, USA we gain a clear picture of long-term electric vehicle ownership satisfaction in California between 2012 and 2018.

In the study's abstract we gain a clear picture of the results, “Here, on the basis of results from five questionnaire surveys, we find that PEV discontinuance in California occurs at a rate of 20% for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners and 18% for battery electric vehicle owners. We show that discontinuance is related to dissatisfaction with the convenience of charging, having other vehicles in the household that are less efficient, not having level 2 (240-volt) charging at home, having fewer household vehicles and not being male.”

So, what does this all mean for the future of plug-in hybrids (PEV) and electric vehicles (EV)? Based on the research we need to have a good hard look at the charging infrastructure in this country. It seems that no matter how good the product is if there’s no supporting infrastructure many customers will switch back to something more convenient.

Now the important part to note when it comes to this data set is its age. In the last three years since the study concluded the charging network in America has grown substantially. Its well known that infrastructure is the weak point of an all EV future and many companies and organizations are working to improve. We expect to see a bright future for the EV and the rapid growth of America’s charging network. 

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