Evidence is piling up that electric vehicles are driven much less than gas-powered models, which could sap the tech’s power against climate change if the trend continues.

Driving the news: A new peer-reviewed paper analyzed odometer readings of used cars listed from 2016 to 2022.

  • Fully electric cars average nearly 4,500 fewer miles annually than conventional models.
  • Battery SUVs also saw a gap, although not as large.

The big picture: The data may signal comparatively fewer high-mileage drivers are making the switch, the authors say.

  • And EV owners may be using them as a second car alongside a gasoline model, researchers writing in Joule suspect.
  • “Range anxiety” due to “immature” charging infrastructure may be a factor.

Catch up fast: Multiple studies using different methods have reached some version of this conclusion about EV miles.

  • For instance, in 2021 we covered a study of California driving habits based on home electricity data.


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Mobility is central to economic activity. Yet, a lack of fuel diversity and continued demand growth have made the transportation industry a major contributor to global pollution and carbon emissions....