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Published on December 28th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan

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Electric Vehicle Ownership: Purchasing vs. Leasing

December 28th, 2019 by  


For our new report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams (2019), we investigated whether EV drivers bought their cars new, bought them used, or leased them. The split was interesting. We then dug in deeper as well, for the first time ever, to learn a bit more about the cars they replaced, and why they went electric.

In the charts used in this 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.

Tesla drivers in the UK primarily bought their cars new (76% of them), whereas non-Tesla BEV drivers and plug-in hybrid drivers in the region more commonly were unlikely to buy new (26% and 43%, respectively).

In the US, new was the most common answer for all groups, but was still much more common among Tesla drivers. 91% of Tesla drivers had bought new, 7% bought used, and only 2% leased. 48% of non-Tesla BEV drivers and 51% of PHEV drivers had bought new.

Across all groups and regions, the EVs were mostly bought to replace another car. However, in a fair number of cases it was an additional car.

For EV drivers who switched from type of power train (e.g., ICE, BEV, PHEV) to another, we also asked why they made the switch. Answers largely repeated the answers to the question discussed in chapter 7 regarding EV benefits. People switched to EVs in large part for environmental reasons, because they saw EVs as “the future,” and for the quieter driving. Many also acknowledged that the driving range and charging convenience matched their needs.

Related articles:

The article above is a segment of our new report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams (2019).


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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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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