90% Of Electric Car Owners Won’t Return To Gas


A massive 88 percent said they would not return to internal combustion-powered cars.

Almost nine in 10 electric vehicle drivers would never go back to driving a car powered by petrol or diesel, according to new research.

A study by electric vehicle YouTube channel Fully Charged found that 88 percent of plug-in car drivers said they would definitely not switch back to fossil fuels after having owned an electric vehicle (EV).

Seven percent of those quizzed said they were not sure whether they would turn back to internal combustion, while the remaining five percent said they would consider making a return to petrol- or diesel-powered cars.

However, just under a quarter of the channel’s audience (24 percent) said they currently owned an electric car, with the vast majority (54 percent) claiming to own a petrol-powered vehicle. Diesel was the second most popular fuel, accounting for 35 percent of viewers, while a combined total of 11 percent were the owners of petrol hybrids or plug-in hybrids.

That number looks likely to change, however, with 61 percent saying they would switch to an electric car next time they changed vehicles and nine percent saying they would opt for a plug-in hybrid.

Of those that did not already own electric vehicles, a third (33 percent) said the cost was limiting, while 16 percent bemoaned a lack of home charging infrastructure and 11 percent complained of a lack of availability of electric cars.

Just nine percent said they were concerned about the range that could be achieved by modern EVs.

Fully Charged says the survey was the largest ever survey of electric car drivers and clean tech enthusiasts ever conducted, with more than 7,700 people quizzed.

The show’s host, Robert Llewellyn, who made his name on the small screen with Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge, said the results might come as a shock to those who have not tried an electric car.

“I have been banging on about electric cars, solar panels and batteries for the best part of 10 years, so it’s incredibly gratifying to see the excitement that our viewers have for all things clean tech,” he said. “Having experienced how impressive electric cars are, we were not surprised to see so many other drivers saying that they won’t go back to the combustion engine, but it might shock those that have yet to switch. Perhaps, more surprising was that two-thirds of our audience who are yet to buy an EV intend to do so in the next couple of years.”

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45 Comments on "90% Of Electric Car Owners Won’t Return To Gas"

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I wonder about the 10% who would consider a combustion car. Have they had a negative experience? Lack of home charging?

I will never go back.

Some were on the super teaser lease deals on the first gen EVs and simply can’t afford the full price yet. I know a couple of those types personally. They love their EVs.

My aunt with the 80 mile leaf went back to gas. She nicknamed it the nissan leash

I imagine it could be a change in needs. A different commute could suddenly render a vehicle with just enough range useless. Addition to the family might change vehicle needs, etc.

May be considering a vehicle type that does not yet exist in the EV world, so by need they have to consider gas.

I know several EV owners who either went back to ICE or tell me they have no particular preference. They bought for the commuter sticker or in one case, just like techy cars.

There are always statistical outliers in any study.

Negative experience = waiting for tapered to hell free charger insisting on full 30 min, then plugs in for another 30 minutes of free charging and 9 free chargers waiting at 2 charger site.

Free charging SUCKS!!!!!

Darth, do you have ONLY a BEV in your household?

Depending on development of trucks and suv’s, my next car may be an ice. We have a Volt and Bolt now, but if I start doing more long distance driving and towing long distances, ev’s are not the best choice.

…and this is why GM is brain-dead to kill the Volt. It’s great for people who want an EV, but sometimes need an ICE.

I’ve had a 2012 Chevy Volt (sold), a 2015 Nissan Leaf (lease turn-in), and a 2017 Nissan Leaf (totaled in a no-fault accident). My current household vehicles are a 2007 Toyota Prius, and a 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid. The reasons are simple: I have a job that’s 55 miles away and there is no charging close to it. The Volt was fine, but at 30k miles per year, I was chewing through its value quickly; the Prius does the drive just fine, I spend very little on gas/maintenance, and I don’t care if it’s worth $1.00. The Escape allows us to haul a canoe and pull a small trailer the 6 times each year we travel 400 miles to my parent’s cottage or 250 miles to a friend’s cabin. I do not see an economic case to be made for buying a $30k Bolt/Kona/Niro for my commute, when my $3k Prius does just fine, nor can I make a case for buying a $100k+ Tesla Model X to pull a trailer and go down washboard dirt roads, and in places that are 100+ miles from the nearest supercharger when my $4k Escape does it no problem… I’d love more options… Read more »

Today, I am going to a dealership for electric two wheeler. Willing to buy the most affordable model with Li-Ion battery which can be taken out and charged at home or office.

I know a couple that went back. But not really voluntary. After a BEV lease went back while waiting for the right BEV to buy (and then for delivery).
Do I have to say how much they hate driving a car now that the went from BEV to ICE.

As I lease, it depends on availability and in the UK (RHD) is is really bad at the moment

“Never Say Never Again”
When I bought my current car, after a few months I lost my job and could only find a job where I had twice as much -> Diesel would have been better. Well, of course it’s a nice situation if you can afford an EV with very much range or is even just your 2nd car (when the 1st has much more range). The tow-bar is currently usually a problem with EVs. E.g. for the E-Niro, the pricelist definitely says “no”. For the Zoe, there is just an expensive 3rd party solution for quite light trailers (IIRC ca. 800kg while e.g. for the Clio much more is allowed (for trailers with brakes)).


> 90% Of Electric Car Owners Won’t Return To Gas This is a massively important metric. It’s great news for the environment, and good news for companies like Tesla that are fully committed to EVs. It is catastrophic news for any auto maker that hasn’t fully committed to EVs, or who thinks that EVs can be phased in gradually. One of the big things that this stat implies is that there will be a very very hard tipping point in EV adoption. We always knew there would be a tipping point, where the case for buying an EV outweighs the case for buying an ICE vehicle, but this stat should tell you in no uncertain terms that almost universally, people who have tried EVs believe that this case is already made. This tells us that the tipping point will come sooner and sharper than many expect. Indeed, I expect the rate of change to be limited more by the availability of EVs than by anything else. If you build them, they will sell. My prediction is that companies that haven’t started getting their mainstream EV offerings out by this time next year will start suffering a noticable loss of market… Read more »

Remember that car generations are like 6+ years with at around 4 years up front design, so realistically companies probably have a generation or two (not 1 or 2 years) to respond. For example, VW responded to Model 3 announcement immediately and is now showing results in 2020 with their new ID cars. Other car companies (GM, Ford, etc) are responding more to other legislation for compliance in various countries. This might not prove successful if there are more interesting vehicles already on the market to buy (Model 3, Model Y, others from Nio, Byton, Rivian, VW, etc).

New cars I’d never go back, but a classic car, I wouldn’t mind an ICE. Classic cars are usually well taken care of and used occasionally. If they need to go in for service it’s no big deal because it’s not your primary driver, and your primary driver being electric saves you money on its lack of fuel, and maintenance costs.

Selection Bias. This was a survey of viewers of an EV channel with a fanboy host. (And I say that as an EV enthusiast – Mr. Llewellyn gets absolutely giddy just by the fact that a car is electric. It is off-putting) I put very little weight on these numbers.

How could any sane person give up the instant responsiveness, the quiet and the smooth application of power? That would be insane.

One who had a gen 1 Leaf and has lost so much range that they have to buy a replacement. Insanity not required.

No doubt, they include some who got sick of waiting for free chargers at DCFC, especially the tapered to hell crap charging Leaf. I had seriously considered getting off EV due to free chargers. Then Electrify America not having free charging for anyone convinced me that there may be some hope.

Free charging SUCKS!!!

Until VW releases their EVs. I do understand your frustration. A local DCFC just switched over to charging a minimal fee and now it’s always open. Great for me! I’m not there unless I need it.

I am not sure why you got so many down votes. I am also in the free charging is a net negative for EV adoption camp. For EVs to succeed either the EV vendors need to build the charging infrastructure (ala Tesla) or there needs to be a financial incentive for 3rd parties to build it. I would certainly be fine with road side restaurants offering 30-60 minutes of “free” DC charging with a meal. And I think L2 charging at hotels for hotel guests only is a great thing.

I own a Volt and people ask me this question. I respond, “after the MP3 player/Apple iPod came out, why did you stop buying CDs? Numerous studies have already predicted the death of the ICE for passenger vehicles in the next 10-20 years, so why buy a dying tech?”

Says the guy with an ICE in his Volt… Come back when you get a BEV.


Looks like the recidivism rates for non-plugin hybrid vehicle owners was only around 35% for the last 10 years or so. The data seems to show that hybrid vehicle repeat sales depended heavily on higher gas prices at the time of acquisition. EVs don’t seem to be experiencing this market correlation. That is the big deal in all of this. In the USA the largest barrier is probably going to be the availability of low cost L2 home and workplace charging with faster (150 kw/hr) and more reliable L3 DCFC networks for longer trips.

Even though my 2014 Leaf hates cold weather, I will never buy another ICE vehicle again, electric is a different world that makes life much simpler, and there is the over riding refueling at home that is a big part of the attraction, the ultimate of which would be an affordable way to recharge off grid, but for now grid power is waaaay more stable that Dino fuel, you know what you have and can plan with electric power while Dino fuel is all over the map all the time and quite frankly not worth the blood and environmental damage Dino fuel continues to cost.
Heck, I don’t even have any Dino fueled yard equipment, gone all electric and that I can charge off my solar…..electric is a no contest when it comes to long term energy and life…..without spilling a drop of blood!

We’re considering a 2015-2017 Leaf or i3 BEV as our 15-20 mile/day errand car. Lately, winters here in Southern Wisconsin dip into the low teens. There’s 110V power to the garage. Are both the Leaf and i3 good enough for our needs?

I’d like to see what EVs the 12% who would go back to ICE own. I’d also like to know the reasons for their answer. Are there one or two models that make up the 12%?

Have a friend that owned an limited range early model Leaf, and she loves it, but doesn’t have at home charging and was not able to rely on current public charging infrastructure in her area. She went back to a hybrid. When the infrastructure improves or longer range EVs come to the affordable used market, she’ll go back to EV.

Most plugin owners own at least one other ICE powered car. In the U.S., I would guess that close to 100% of BEV owners do.

What’s stooping you from going BEV + PHEV? That’s my setup…

We were intrigued by X3. But no PHEV is available in that model.

I do. I drive BEV and my wife has an ICE. I still have collective range anxiety.

Most US households have 2 or more cars and access to at home charging. Replacing at least one with an EV would mean 60 to 80 million EVs.

Nothing currently wrong with have both. I guarantee, the EV will end up as the go to vehicle for most trips.

2018 Leaf + Model 3 LR here so ICE free and loving it. The only time I drive ICE vehicles now is during trips that involve airplanes. If I hadn’t been willing to pony up for an LR model 3 I would have kept my 2014 Volt because I do a lot of road trips with 200+ miles between charging opportunities. If I lived somewhere with real winter (I am talking about where ICE vehicles have plugs for their engine block heaters) I would also have kept the Volt.

I own an EV only because of a government subsidy and cheap electricity and would not hesitate to go back if it were to cost less than running an EV.

If even 20% on the national fleet goes EV, the power consumption would cause the power grid to meltdown and drive electricity rates much higher (supply vs. demand) with cost per mile exceeding gas. Adopting EV addresses consumption but does nothing to address supply issues – power generated by burning coal / natural gas or nuke plants delivered over an ancient power grid that can barely keep up with A/C power demands in summer.

I’ve seen that EV. Isn’t it the Fixednewsvaporware 5000?

Yes, the electric rates would go up and zombies would come to life!!!
Run, scream and hide!!!
In the mean time, the electric consumption keeps going up for decades and the grid keeps adapting to the ever increasing demand…which so far is not caused by evs.

After owning 1st a 2014 Volt and currently a model 3 (me) and 2018 Leaf we are never going back. For both my wife and I “fueling” at home and being able to prewarm / precool the car are great perks. For me the overall driving experience is just so much better. Every time I rent a 4 banger ICE penalty box on a business trip I am reminded….

First off, 54% is NOT the ‘vast majority’. It is a simple majority, or majority. Vast would imply like 90-99%.
Secondly, I am amazed that the number is actually only 88%. I would have thought that it was closer to 98%. Oh well.

All I know is that my wife HATES driving our highlander, so she drives it about 1x / 6 months, and has only re-fueled it once in 4 years. Needless to say, I heard all sorts of words from her that I have not heard since our first child was born.

I will seriously consider an ICE when the time comes. Sad really, I was very excited going electric, I’ve dreamed of it since riding electric trolleys in the ’60’s. I appreciated depriving oil despots around the world their dollars – and the strategic advantages of that, as well as the cost saving most people see. But my state has priced electricity so high, while protecting a felonious power company/monopoly that it is cheaper/easier for me to drive a 12 mpg F250 100 miles than my 2012 Leaf with a new battery. I am simply disgusted. Couple that with the several times a year I spend $2-300 for a rental to drive long distance and it becomes clearer, the Camry Hybrid LX is a very nice car…..