Which electric vehicle incentives are most effective? Which will stimulate the most EV adoption? Which break down the biggest barriers to EV awareness, experience, and transition?
These are ongoing questions we will be exploring for years. And before I go on, I should highlight that we’re going to be diving into these topics quite deeply during our upcoming Cleantech Revolution Tour conference in Berlin & Wroclaw (buy tickets here). We’re also going to be developing a working draft of guidelines cities can use to more effectively promote clean transport.
But the news today are the findings we pulled out of 2,000+ surveys from EV drivers. Read on to find out what we discovered.
If you’ve read the report intro in one of our previous articles about the new report, just jump down below the line to get into the article itself. In case you missed previous intros, though, here’s a short summary of the report:
We surveyed over 2,000 electric car drivers living in 28 countries (49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces). We wanted to find out what early electric car adopters require and desire from their next electric cars and from EV charging networks, as well as what EV life is like so far for them.
This report segments responses by three distinct electric vehicle groups (Tesla drivers, pure-electric but non-Tesla drivers, and drivers of plug-in hybrids) as well as by continent (North America versus Europe). This segmentation unveils clear differences on many topics — which is sensible given the vast variation in user experience for each type of EV and for the two regions, but which we’ve never seen uncovered before.
You can get the full 93-page report — Electric Car Drivers: Desires, Demands, & Who They Are — for $500, or you can check out the first 30 pages for free. (If you contributed to the report/surveys and want a free copy, drop us a note and we’ll send the entire report your way.)
Our core partners for this year’s report included EV-Box, Tesla Shuttle, and Important Media. Other report partners included The Beam, EV Obsession, and the Low Voltage Vehicle Electrification summit.
Top EV Incentives
One of the most important matters for stimulating more electric car purchases is using effective incentives. A variety of incentives have been shown to help increase electric car adoption in Norway, California, Georgia, and other top markets, but we wanted to further explore how such incentives were viewed by current EV drivers.
The responses were quite diverse.
Straight cash (a $3,000 rebate) was the most popular incentive, but only 17–56% of respondents chose that option.
In general, Europeans were much more interested in free charging and/or free parking. With the high cost of parking in many European cities (versus hugely subsidized “free” parking in much of the USA and Canada), this seems logical.
Access to HOV/bus lanes (with respondents who don’t have such lanes nearby requested to assume they did) and free home charging stations also got a decent portion of responses — 7–18% for the former and 8–18% for the latter.
Overall, aside from calculations for straight cash savings, it seems respondents were putting a high value on convenience, whether offered via access to HOV/bus lanes, free parking, free public charging, or a complimentary home EV charging station.
The take-home message for policymakers, utilities, and automakers is that various incentives are powerful and all of them should be offered in order to entice a broader portion of the population. This has been Norway’s approach, and approximately one-third of all new car sales in the country are now electric car sales. A broad palette of EV candy is effective.
→ Get the full 93-page report: Electric Car Drivers: Desires, Demands, & Who They Are.