Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams — New CleanTechnica Report

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CleanTechnica has a new report out today, one highlighting the results of several thousand surveys of electric vehicle drivers in the US, Canada, and Europe. This initial report covers findings from North America and the UK. A coming report will cover the findings from the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, & France, and another one will cover the results from surveying non-EV drivers.

If you’d like to buy this report, which was generously sponsored by CATL* and Volta*, it is available for purchase here.

As a taster, here’s a 14-page preview of the report and below is the executive summary of the report.

EV Driver Report Surveys

Each year, CleanTechnica invites EV drivers and EV dreamers to answer a number of questions in order to learn the pains and gains of electric vehicle ownership, as well as what they expect from future electric vehicles, batteries, and charging networks. With nearly 10,000 respondents across several countries and EV ownership groups, this is by far the largest EV driver report of its kind globally.

In fact, with such broad and diverse data, we’ve decided to publish the findings of these surveys in multiple reports. This first report covers the results from EV drivers in the USA and Canada (combined) as well as the UK. Coming reports will cover the responses from EV drivers in the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and France, as well as responses from non-EV drivers.

This year’s findings show some similarity to findings from previous years. However, there are also some differences that probably stem from the market maturing. Additionally, we asked many more questions and delved into more specific populations than ever before.

Respondents primarily planned to buy a Tesla model next (mostly the Model 3 or Model Y). Non-Tesla EV drivers and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivers were more likely than Tesla drivers to buy a non-Tesla next, but they also favored Teslas for their next vehicle, primarily the Model 3 or Model Y. There are also still strong links between EV ownership, rooftop solar, and energy conservation.

For the first time ever, for this report we collected data on which electric vehicles EV owners might have bought if not the EV they ended up choosing, what type of vehicles they replaced (gas/diesel cars, hybrids, or EVs, for example), and if they bought new, bought used, or leased.

As usual, we explored which features and vehicle classes EV drivers want from their next EVs. Fast or superfast charging and more than 200 miles of range were very important to respondents across all of the groups, while other feature preferences were more dependent on the type of EV the respondent had. For example, over-the-air software updates were a high priority for Tesla drivers, but not other EV owner groups.

For the first time ever, we also surveyed people about battery preferences — battery brand, battery range, and battery longevity — and we included many more charging-related questions.

When asked for the top reasons these EV drivers bought their cars, we got similar responses as in previous years. The largest portion of buyers referenced the environmental benefit of going electric. As before, though, Tesla buyers in various markets were more likely to select “fun & convenience” and “I love new tech” than other EV drivers. “The smooth & quiet drive” was also a popular answer throughout all groups.

*While CATL and Volta generously sponsored this report, they did not have any influence over what was written in the report. Here’s a bit more about these two EV-related companies:

CATL EV Batteries LogoContemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (“CATL”) is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of lithium-ion power and energy storage batteries, with businesses covering R&D, manufacturing and sales in battery systems for new energy vehicles and energy storage systems. In 2018, the company’s sales reached 21.31 GWh worldwide, which was leading in the world (according to SNE Research).

Founded in 2010 out of a passion for advancing transportation, Volta Charging Logo Volta has mastered the art and science of developing cutting-edge electric vehicle charging networks. Volta is accelerating the electric vehicle movement by providing seamless, simple, and free charging experiences. Thoughtfully located along the paths of our busy lives, Volta chargers are the most used in the industry. With the support of forward-thinking brand partners, Volta delivers free charging solutions to real estate owners, power to the electric vehicle community, and impactful brand stories to everyone.

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Zachary Shahan

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], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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