EV Engineering News

Consumer survey: drivers very satisfied with EVs, but not with dealership and public charging experiences

Plug In America has released the results of its second national survey of EV consumers. The 8,000 respondents included both current EV owners and consumers who are planning to purchase an EV.

Most of the findings were about what one would expect. About 90% of respondents said they were “very likely” (77%) or “likely” (13%) to purchase an EV as their next vehicle. Battery-electric vehicles were the most common choice: 85% of EV owners surveyed had at least one BEV, and 28% had at least one PHEV. Some 34% of EV owners said they did not have an ICE vehicle in their household.

Reliability, performance and ease of charging were reported as the most positive aspects of EV ownership, while range and (paradoxically) charging speed were the biggest negatives.

Tesla Model 3 was the most popular vehicle, accounting for 18% of responses. The next most common EVs were the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Bolt.

Another unsurprising finding: the level of satisfaction with auto dealers is low. Only 15% of customers who shopped at a dealership rated the salesperson’s knowledge about EVs as “very high,” and 11% rated it as “very low.”

There were also few surprises when it comes to charging—92% of respondents do most of their charging at home. Some 3% said they most often used workplace charging, and only 4% reported that public chargers were their primary charging location.

Respondents reported a litany of problems with public charging networks—the biggest complaint was non-functional chargers, reported by about 14% of total respondents. Users of Tesla’s Supercharger network reported far fewer problems overall than users of other networks.

The non-Tesla networks (Blink, Electrify America, ChargePoint, EVgo) scored equally badly in the charger maintenance category. In each case, around a quarter of users reported out-of-order chargers as a major issue, while only a tiny fraction of Supercharger users did.

The primary motivation for going electric, for both current and prospective EV owners, was the environment and air quality, but prospective buyers also cited cost savings as a major motivating factor.

“The market for electric vehicles is growing dramatically as more consumers are making the switch,” said Joel Levin, Executive Director of Plug In America. “As we move from the early adopter phase to the mass market, all stakeholders, from government entities to private companies to nonprofit organizations, need to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. This survey offers valuable insight to help improve the EV consumer experience.”

Source: Plug In America

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