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Published on January 28th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


How To Best Promote Electric Cars

January 28th, 2016 by  

Following up on the best things about electric cars, in our 6th article pulled from Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want — a new report from CleanTechnica, EV Obsession, and GAS2 — I’m jumping into what EV drivers and enthusiasts consider to be the best ways to promote EVs and spread the EV revolution.

Responses from EV drivers (from the list of options I gave them/you) broke out like this:

  • More abundant EV charging (24.4%)
  • Test drive events (20.3%)
  • Better financial incentives (19.3%)
  • Better media coverage (17.7%)
  • Electric car rentals (6.3%)
  • Electric-only dealerships (5.3%)
  • EV access to HOV lanes, bus lanes, and toll roads (for free) (3.9%)
  • Electric carsharing (2.6%)

EV incentives drivers

Asking potential owners/lessees to rank these same things, the results broke out as follows (as you can see, a different type of ranking system was used):

  • Better financial incentives (6.68)
  • More abundant charging (6.61)
  • Test drive events (5.88)
  • Better media coverage (5.57)
  • Electric car rentals (5.18)
  • EV access to HOV lanes, bus lanes, and toll roads (for free) (4.85)
  • Electric carsharing (3.91)
  • Electric buses (3.24)
  • Electric-only dealerships (3.07)

EV incentives non drivers

As can be seen, the top three choices were the same for both groups, but in a different order. Better media coverage and electric car rentals came in fourth and fifth for both groups.

Asking the respondents about their own personal incentive preferences, the clear winner (from the options provided) was a straight $3,000 cash rebate. 37% of owners/lessees preferred this, and 44% of non-owners/lessees preferred it. Second was “free public charging,” which 27% of both groups preferred. Non-owners/lessees then heavily preferred “free home charging station (assuming you didn’t have one)” (25%) over access to HOV/bus lanes (7%) and free parking (4%). Owners/lessees slightly preferred access to HOV/bus lanes (12.4%) over a free home charging station (11.5%) but also had little interest in free parking (4%).

Top Incentives 1 Top Incentives 2

So, it seems pretty clear that straight cash incentives and more public charging stations are heavily preferred methods for stimulating greater EV adoption, as well as simply having more electric car test drive events.

Why that third option is important comes back to what was discussed earlier regarding the fun of driving EVs and their better drive quality (which is quieter and smoother than in a gasoline-powered car). Other responses from EV owner/lessees reinforce this point. When asked to rank agreement with the statement, “People who drive my EV tend to love it,” after removing the respondents who said this was not applicable to them (presumably because no one else had driven their EVs), 72.5% strongly agreed, 21.8% moderately agreed, 5% were not sure, and 0.7% moderately disagreed. There’s potential respondent bias in these responses, but I think the fact that less than 1% disagreed with such a strong statement is very telling.

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You can download the full “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want” report here.

Report sponsors include Cost of Solar, Plugless, the Low Voltage Vehicle Electrification Event, and Pono Home.


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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 Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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