While we enjoy insanely cheap gasoline in the U.S., much of the rest of the world pays a significant premium to pump their cars full of go-juice. Though the thought of paying substantially more for gasoline may make some cringe, a study from Pike Research suggests that the success of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. hinges on higher gas prices.

As the research indicates, Americans have little to gain by going electric if gas prices stay low. To the contrary, countries with absurdly high gas prices have a strong reason to consider switching over to battery power. As the chart above indicates, buyers in many European countries have a strong incentive for choosing an EV. For example, buyers in Norway could save over $2,000 a year by dropping their gas-powered vehicles in favor of something electric. Likewise, buyers in Great Britain, France and Japan would all reap significant savings by converting.

If you glance down to the bottom of the chart, you'll find the U.S. With gas prices lower than all of the other listed nations, U.S. buyers have less of a financial incentive to go electric. Specifically, at just $813 in savings a year, U.S. buyers will only save around half as much as drivers in other nations. Pike Research suggests that EV sales would grow faster if gasoline prices in the U.S. jumped-up, a claim we won't dispute. But we believe that few consumers will run all of the numbers before sensibly choosing to go electric. Instead, the initial choice to go electric will most likely be driven by the desire to be different and environmentally responsible. These desires can overshadow the power of money.

[Source: Pike Research]

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