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Published on November 27th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


3 More EV Survey Charts, + Target Range For EV Manufacturers

November 27th, 2013 by  

Following up on the 14 EV survey charts, graphs, & tables I shared last night, below are 3 interesting charts from a new survey conducted by PlugInsights, a new plug-in vehicle research firm. The survey covered 20% of today’s US plug-in car owners.

This first one shows that, even though electric car owners mostly charge at home, nearly 80% of them have charged in public within the past 6 months. However, there’s no indication how many of those drivers actually needed to charge in public. From free workplace chargers, free Tesla Superchargers, and EV events, there are plenty of opportunities to charge up outside of home for free or for show. Indeed, the biggest chunk of respondents do charge for free when they charge in public. Here’s this first chart:

EV charging public

This second chart is even more interesting, in my opinion. It shows that most EV drivers who don’t charge away from home don’t do so because they have no need to. The percentage shown is 51%, but 14% are people who haven’t driven their EV long enough to be of any use for this question. If you remove that 14%, then 58% of respondents didn’t charge away from home because they didn’t have any need to.

EV drivers don't need public charging

Lastly (as far as the charts go), this next one shows that plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivers’ longest trips are longer than 100% electric vehicle drivers’ longest trips. Not much surprise there (as with the similar finding posted on the bottom of yesterday’s article).

longest EV trip

One final finding (from the materials shared with the press) that I thought was particularly interesting was that the average minimum range the surveyed plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) drivers thought a 100% electric car should have (to make range a complete non-issue) was 186 miles. That’s less than the range of the Tesla Model S (208 miles). I didn’t see, but am very curious, what percentage of the respondents were actually Model S owners. And I wonder what the average minimum range would be if they were removed.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that PEV drivers are quite attentive to the words and goals of Elon Musk, the CEO and Chairman of Tesla Motors, and Elon has stated on several occasions that he plans to bring a 200-mile EV to market by 2017 that will be half the price of the Tesla Model S. GM reportedly has a similar goal. We’ll see, but in any case, I think these targets could be influencing what PEV drivers consider “is needed.”

Overall, it looks like a fairly interesting report. Too bad I can’t see the whole thing without paying for it. If you’re interested in learning more, head on over to the PlugInsights page for the report, or perhaps drop a question here and we’ll get you an answer.

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Doug

    Having purchased a Tesla Model S (60), I’m fairly happy with the range and wouldn’t demand any more than 200 miles in a future EV purchase. A combination of supercharger and Tesla-sized range has made several long driving trips possible. I don’t need bigger batteries – I want more Superchargers and more EVSEs at hotels and public parking lots!

  • Will E


  • Bob_Wallace

    Kickstarter isn’t needed in this case. Many companies and university research labs are putting major resources into this effort.

    Produce a battery like you describe and you’re going to make a major, major pile of money.

    The best candidate we know about right now is a lithium-ion battery from Envia Systems. They are claiming 400 Wk/kg which is about 3x better than the Nissan LEAF battery. And a price of $125/kWh which is about half to a third of present battery costs.

    Rumor has it that GM is evaluating their batteries right now on their test tracks.

    No guarantee that any of this is true, but it seems likely. And it’s likely that other companies are making progress on their ideas but behind closed doors.

    We really need better EV batteries. Give us an affordable EV with ~200 mile range and we’ll pretty much quit using oil.

    • Keromancer

      I appreciate this well-informed response.
      I now know Envia Systems is a leading name in this field of research.
      I doubt that most people are familiar with Envia Systems, though,
      since I haven’t noticed them mentioned in the news even once (maybe I haven’t been keeping track of this well enough).

      I think people should know who’s leading the way in development,
      and it seems that most of them haven’t even the foggiest idea of what the industry is doing at this point.

      I’d like to raise interest in this, and these posts might look silly,
      but it’s out of concern for progress.

    • Doug

      Envia Systems recently declared bankruptcy. Don’t be counting on them for cheap EV batteries.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I find nothing on the web about that. Do you have a link?

        There is a suit filed by three disgruntled ex-employees who are charging that Envia stole patented tech from another company.

        Envia has made a statement about the charge saying that the patent infringement had been adjudicated some time back and the court found it without merit.

        I just found out about it yesterday and it’s only now spreading around the web.

        There’s also something about Envia batteries not performing as stated but that could be part of the suit. The suit may have merit or it may be a junk suit attempting to get some settlement/go away money.

        This is all really recent and will take some time to iron out.

      • Doug
        • Bob_Wallace

          I’m still finding nothing on bankruptcy.

          The only GM thing I find is the one sentence in Katie’s original article.
          “When the technology was not recreated for GM by summer 2013, GM eventually cancelled the deal.”

          It might be best to hold back a bit and not feed the rumor mill. If you read the update it’s clear that there are two sides to the lawsuit. It could be a shakedown by some ex-employees who are trying to get some ‘shut up and go away’ money or it could be a real problem for Envia.

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