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28–40% of EV Drivers Have Solar Panels (CleanTechnica EV Report)

Previous surveys — including our initial EV driver survey — have found a strong link between driving electric cars and having home solar panels. Yet again, in our 2017 EV driver report, a very large portion of our respondents had home solar panels, which means that they are essentially “fueling” their electric cars with sunshine.

Previous surveys — including our initial EV driver survey — have found a strong link between driving electric cars and having home solar panels. Yet again, in our 2017 EV driver report, a very large portion of our respondents had home solar panels, which means that they are essentially “fueling” their electric cars with sunshine.

Across the six groups we surveyed, 28–40% of respondents said they had home solar panels. This is considerably more than the approximately 1% of homes in these regions that have solar panels.

Interestingly, a European group (European PHEV drivers) had the highest percentage and another European group (European Tesla drivers) had the lowest percentage. However, the difference between them is pretty moderate and probably not statistically significant.

Getting into some general demographics, we can see that approximately half of respondents (35–58%) had kids and respondents were primarily male (90–97%).

Another matter we dove into was the size of the cities or towns where respondents lived. It was surprising to see that so many of them were living in fairly small cities/towns — 36–58% in cities/towns with under 100,000 residents. Only 11–34% of respondents lived in cities of 1 million or more residents.

Unsurprisingly, the respondents were rather wealthy. This is typical for early adopters of new tech, for people who buy or lease new cars, and thus for current electric car drivers.

The North American respondents leaned more toward the higher income brackets than the European respondents. There are various factors on the micro and macro level that may have led to that, but it seems like it would be too speculative to discuss them here without more information.

Another obvious divergence, of course, is that Tesla drivers had higher annual incomes. Nonetheless, a decent number of respondents in the first three to four income brackets did have Teslas as well. However, it’s unclear how much this related to wealthy retired people owning Teslas but no longer having high income. In general, this is a matter that should probably be teased out in future surveys.


In case you missed previous summaries, here’s a short summary of our 2017 EV 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-BoxTesla Shuttle, and Important Media. Other report partners included The Beam, EV Obsession, and the Low Voltage Vehicle Electrification summit.


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Written By

Zach 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], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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