Top EV Benefits, EV Range Adequacy, Driving & Charging Frequency — New Report

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Below is a segment of our new report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams (2019)*. In the charts used in the article, “EV Drivers” represent non-Tesla fully electric vehicle owners, “PHEV Drivers” represent plug-in hybrid owners, and “Tesla Drivers” represent Tesla owners (surprise, surprise). The data come from thousands of survey respondents in the USA, Canada, and the UK.

When asked for the top reasons the EV drivers got their cars, we got similar responses as in previous years. The largest portion of buyers in every group referenced the environmental benefits. As before, Tesla buyers in the 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. Among non-Tesla EV drivers, below environmental benefit were commonly “low maintenance” and “financial savings.” Rounding out a regular top 5, even for non-Tesla drivers, was typically the option “fun & convenience,” sometimes coming in at #3, sometimes #4, sometimes #5.

Good design/style was also a fairly common choice among Tesla drivers, which is no surprise given that many people come to Tesla simply because they “saw a beautiful car on the road” and then Googled the name.

For the first time in this multi-year study of EV drivers, we asked drivers if their EVs met all of their driving needs or if they had to use other forms of transport. Interestingly, the top population for saying that their vehicles met all of their demands were Tesla drivers, not plug-in hybrid drivers — though, the latter had high scores as well. More than 90% of Tesla drivers responded in that way, quite uniformly across the various regions, while plug-in hybrid drivers were often a bit above 80% and non-Tesla BEV drivers responded affirmatively in around 50% of cases.

Perhaps relevant to charging and driving range is how much the respondents actually drive their cars. The responses demonstrated the difference in car dependency in the US versus Europe. That difference broke out the most when looking at the driving habits of Tesla and PHEV drivers. 60–65% of Brits said they drove their EVs almost every day, whereas 83% of North Americans answered “almost every day” for how often they did so.

The vast majority of respondents in all groups indicated that they had home charging. They tend to charge every other day or every few days, though. Respondents also didn’t have much difficulty finding charging stations, and much thanks is surely due to PlugShare because it provides extensive, robust, easy-to-use maps and associated details about charging stations around the world. Overall, respondents found charging stations to be reliable and effective, but there’s also much room for improvement.

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

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*CATL and Volta generously sponsored this report. However, 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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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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