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Published on December 15th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan


Thousands Of Electric Vehicle Owners Told Us This …

December 15th, 2019 by  

For our newest report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams (2019), we surveyed thousands of plug-in vehicle drivers to find out more about their electric vehicle buying decisions, what they want from their next EVs, how EV life is going, and more. Below are some of the top-line takeaway points from the surveys of US, Canadian, and British respondents.

If you want to see more, you can buy the full report here or check out a 14-page preview here. This report was kindly sponsored by CATL* and Volta*, which helped us to collect a large number of surveys in a variety of countries in the respondents’ native languages. In the coming weeks, we will be presenting findings from German, Dutch, French, and Norwegian responses. We will also be presenting findings from non-EV owners who completed similar surveys.

This report shows yet again that Tesla vehicles (especially the Model 3 and Model Y) remain the most popular electric vehicles in the US, Canada, and the UK. Tesla drivers, non-Tesla pure EV drivers, and plug-in hybrid drivers all indicated they expected to buy a Tesla more than any other type of vehicle when they buy their next vehicle.

That said, with greater EV diversity on the market, except for Tesla owners, more than half of respondents in each group expected to buy a non-Tesla EV next. Especially popular options were the Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona EV, Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt, and Renault Zoe. Other than those EV models, responses for many individual models were in the 1% or 2% range, but those still do add up across numerous models, showing the importance of a broader EV market.

These varied EV drivers generally expect more than 200 miles (300 km) of range from their next EV, but fewer than 340 miles (550 km) of range. There was also a strong expectation for long-lasting batteries and fast or superfast charging capability.

EV drivers showed fundamental, strong support for the environment, which was their #1 reason for buying an EV. That said, approximately a quarter of respondents indicated that they had compared the the EVs they ended up buying to gasoline or diesel vehicles before making their purchases.

Many respondents, especially Tesla owners, also indicated that advanced tech and the fun and convenience of EVs were key motivators for their decision to go electric.

Respondents were mostly replacing other vehicles when they purchased their EVs, primarily replacing non-hybrid gasoline or diesel vehicles. They mostly found EV charging and current EV driving range to be adequate for their needs.

Respondents were also quite likely to have rooftop solar panels — 32–52% of respondents indicated they had rooftop solar — and another 10–15% of respondents planned to be getting solar panels soon. Plug-in hybrid drivers and Tesla drivers in North America were least likely to have rooftop solar (32% of each group), but 14–15% of them expected to go solar soon. Tesla and other pure-EV drivers in the UK were most likely to have rooftop solar (52% and 43%, respectively), and another 10–14% (respectively) planned to go solar soon.

The majority of respondents indicated that battery brand was not important to them when purchasing an EV. However, approximately 15% said it was. It was a much more important factor for Tesla owners than other EV owners in North America, 36% of whom said it was important to them.

Tesla drivers were much more likely to have bought their cars new (76% in the UK and 91% in the US & Canada), whereas only non-Tesla EV drivers (35% in the UK and 48% in the US & Canada) and plug-in hybrid drivers (43% in the UK and 51% in the US & Canada) had bought their EVs new.

For more, check out the full report: Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams (2019).

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*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).

Volta Charging LogoFounded in 2010 out of a passion for advancing transportation, 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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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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