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Published on October 11th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Electric Car Referrals (Survey Results)

October 11th, 2014 by  

About a month ago, I got curious about how many of our electric-car-owning readers had convinced others to go electric, so I decided to put together a short survey on the matter. Aside from the simple matter of how many people you had converted, I also asked about which electric cars you drive and which your friends, family members, or co-workers bought. The results are quite interesting:

electric car referrals

electric car owners

electric car new owners



I was actually surprised to see that ~50% of respondents had contributed to someone they know getting an electric car. That’s impressive, imho. And five respondents got 10+ people to go electric! (I’m guessing some of them are Nissan LEAF or Tesla salespeople? Or they referred a lot of people to this article. 😀 )

It was also interesting that the percentage of new owners who went for a Tesla Model S or Chevy Volt was considerably higher than the percentage of original owners who owned those vehicles, while the opposite was true for the Nissan LEAF. I’m guessing that some of the friends or family members of Nissan LEAF owners were able to go for the higher-priced Tesla Model S, while others were more “secondary adopters” than truly “early adopters” and went with the Volt because they were more concerned with have a long range or gasoline backup. (Though, I assume that some LEAF haters might have other ideas why that shift occurred.)

Other than those three dominant EVs, the spread was very diverse (like the market) and no other models had very notable numbers. However, it was interesting to see that one of the new EV owners was actually one of the few to get the VW XL1, and one of them also got the brand new Kia Soul EV. Also, it’s pretty cool that 5 of our readers own a Tesla Roadster!

As far as the “Other” responses, Q2 had a couple of Th!nk City cars, a few conversion, a Zero motorcycle, and a Lv Liang hybrid electric scooter.

Survey Notes

One limitation of this short survey is that I imagine those who had actually gotten others to buy or lease an electric car were more likely to respond, but hopefully there wasn’t too much bias in that regard.

I didn’t promote the survey beyond CleanTechnica at all, as I was really mostly curious about the story of our readers.

Unfortunately, while I can look at all of the answers from each respondent myself, there’s no aggregate data available on which cars friends/family/co-workers of Chevy Volt owners, Nissan LEAF owners, Tesla Model S owners, etc. bought.

If you didn’t initially answer the survey but own or lease an electric car, feel free to complete it now! I might use the results again in the future. 


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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