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Published on January 13th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan


EV Charging Usage Patterns: Convenience, Accessibility, & Reliability — #CleanTechnica Report

January 13th, 2019 by  

How do actual electric car drivers handle charging? How much do they use fast charging? How important do they consider superfast charging? How reliable, convenient, and satisfactory do they find charging stations? How many of them charge at home?

Going beyond current EV drivers and looking at potential EV drivers, how important is superfast charging? (Recall that superfast charging is a feature only Tesla has offered until recently, and Tesla is the only company with a widespread superfast charging network today.)

We recently tackled all of these charging topics and a few more thanks to our pool of over 3,000 respondents. The findings are included in our newest report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams (2018).

Superfast Charging

Starting with potential EV buyers, 27–28% of respondents indicated they would be “MUCH more attracted” to a fully electric car with access to Tesla Supercharging or a comparable superfast charging network than one without such access. The results were almost identical in North America and Europe.

Another 24% of European respondents indicated they would be “significantly more attracted” to a fully electric car with access to Tesla Supercharging or a comparable superfast charging network than one without such access, and 27% of North Americans agreed with that sentiment.

Only 25% of European respondents and 18% of North American respondents chose “meh, whatev” in response to this technology option.

Tesla drivers themselves indicated that they don’t use Superchargers very frequently, but more than half of them (in both North America and Europe) use them at least once a month. Interestingly, even though Europeans drive less on average, the surveys indicated European Tesla drivers Supercharge more. That could be related to fewer Europeans having home charging (a higher percentage of them living in condos) or perhaps just due to more frequent long drives among the population.

The vast majority of Tesla owners did have home charging, and they largely considered public charging stations to be convenient, accessible, reliable, and adequate for long-distance trips.

Charging Station Satisfaction

It’s noteworthy that respondents largely had home charging. Responses to such questions may be drastically different for populations that don’t have home charging.

Repeating findings from Chapter 3, across the board, it’s clear there’s strong demand for superfast charging and Level 3 charging.

Additionally, while there’s generally satisfaction with EV charging convenience, accessibility, and reliability, it’s clear there’s a lot of room for improvement, especially for those EV drivers not driving a Tesla. Even for the most satisfied EV drivers (Tesla drivers), satisfaction with EV charging convenience was 68–69%, satisfaction with EV charging accessibility was 74–82%, satisfaction with EV charging reliability was 89–92%, and satisfaction with the EV charging network for long-distance trips was 81–85%. In other words, EV charging infrastructure is good, but it could be better.

Above is one chapter of our new electric car driver report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams.



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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. 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, 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.

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