According to a recent analysis, approximately 48% of non-Tesla EV owners opted for a gasoline vehicle as their next purchase. This does not necessarily imply that they sold their EV; it could also mean that they acquired an additional gasoline vehicle for their family.

S&P Global Mobility’s research revealed that the fuel type loyalty rate for mainstream EV households was 52.1% as of July 2023. This figure represents the proportion of people who remained committed to EVs after their initial purchase.

S&P suggests that legacy automakers may need to expand their EV lineups to ensure ongoing loyalty to electrification.

According to industry analyst Michelle Thompson, these findings may not be well-received by automakers heavily investing in EV development. The substantial investments made by these automakers aim to prevent EV owners from reverting back to gasoline vehicles.

The analysis of non-luxury brand households surveyed shows that Nissan has the highest EV loyalty, with 63.2% of owners choosing the same fuel type for their next purchase. Chevrolet follows with 60.6% loyalty.

According to the individual model results, only 37.3% of Ford Mustang Mach-E customers bought another EV. Meanwhile, 45.8% opted for a gasoline vehicle. Interestingly, a significant number of buyers chose Ford models in both gasoline and hybrid variants, indicating that vehicle type and capabilities were prioritized over the fuel type.

In the luxury car segment, S&P reported much higher EV loyalty. EV loyalty within the luxury segment has exceeded 70% over the past three quarters and 60% over the past 18 months. Moreover, several non-Tesla luxury brands (including Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi) have improved their EV loyalty rates.

Reasons for EV optimism

EV enthusiasts are not concerned about the S&P study.

When Tesla is considered, the findings are much less bleak for the EV industry. Tesla owners’ EV loyalty surged from 51.8% to 76.7%. And Tesla is the largest EV maker by far, comprising 50% of the US market.

Moreover, the S&P study found that drivers’ top three reasons for returning to gasoline vehicles were high EV prices, limited EV infrastructure, and low EV range. All three of these issues are currently being addressed.

US EV prices are down 22% year-over-year, according to Forbes.

In addition, 13 legacy automakers have joined Tesla’s Supercharger network. This means that North America is closer to a standardized EV charging system than ever before.

Lastly, innovations like solid-state batteries will boost EVs’ range to 745 miles or more in the near future.