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Published on April 5th, 2020 | by Zachary Shahan


EV Ownership & Rooftop Solar In Germany, France, Netherlands, & Norway — CleanTechnica Report

April 5th, 2020 by  

For our newest reports, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams — European Edition (2020) and Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams, we were curious whether EV ownership/leasing correlated with rooftop solar panel ownership, and also whether driving an EV encouraged people to drive more efficiently or even conserve energy more at home, so we surveyed thousands of EV owners. The results are interesting in their diversity.

The Netherlands has become a rooftop solar power leader, and Dutch EV drivers have a stunningly high percentage of rooftop solar panel owners — the highest I think I’ve seen in years of doing and reporting on these types of surveys.

Germany is well known globally as a rooftop solar power leader. It also has a strong correlation between EV ownership and rooftop solar ownership, but it is more similar to what’s been seen in previous surveys in the US, UK, and elsewhere.

France’s and Norway’s results showed a much lower likelihood of EV drivers having rooftop solar. Norway gets almost all of its electricity from hydropower, so rooftop solar is not seen as important or incentivized. France also gets the majority of its electricity from low-emissions sources, mostly old nuclear power plants, and has low rooftop solar adoption in general. So, it is not surprising to see much lower rates of rooftop solar ownership in these countries, but the rates are still well above nationwide solar adoption rates.

For comparison, referencing our previous report, Tesla drivers in the UK had a high likelihood of solar ownership (52% of EV drivers had rooftop solar), while the group in North America or the UK with the lowest share of rooftop solar ownership — plug-in hybrid drivers in North America — was still high at 32%. In general, a few percent of Brits have solar power and less than 1% of Americans do, so these figures are exceptionally high — as they are in the Netherlands and Germany as well, and even France and Norway if comparing with nationwide adoption rates in those countries.

We also asked again whether having an electric car encouraged drivers to save energy while driving (beyond the huge efficiency boost you get inherently from driving electric). As you can see in the charts below, a large majority of drivers said it did.

Similarly, we asked if having an electric car encouraged drivers to conserve energy at home. Most respondents said it didn’t (presumably, they were already quite focused on and adept at conserving energy at home). Still, a decent portion of respondents indicated that they saved energy more at home because of having an electric car and thinking about this more.

The results regarding efficient driving and conserving energy at home were similar to results we collected in the US, Canada, and the UK.

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 NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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