Recargo, the publisher of PluginCars.com, has launched a research firm called PlugInsights. Its first report, the “2013 US PEV Charging Study” aims to be the most comprehensive look at the topic to date.
The 40-page report is based on surveys of over 3,700 plug-in drivers of 17 different vehicles. According to PlugInsights, it represents more than 2% of all American EV drivers.
“PlugInsights is all about helping automakers, utilities, charging networks, government agencies and the broader EV community make better decisions,” said Brian Kariger, CEO of Recargo. “EV drivers are sophisticated people who aren’t shy about things they want to see done differently. The list of driver suggestions that emerges from this study is long and constructive. It ranges from seemingly trivial things like wanting longer cables at public stations, to fundamental needs like a more robust charging infrastructure, broader availability of workplace charging, special utility rates, and everything in between.”
The top five issues identified by the new study:
- There is a lack of Quick Charging. Level 2 240-volt charging is too slow and impractical to bridge distant locations. Without fast charging, mid-range EVss are confined to “commuter car” status, and lack appeal to a broader audience.
- Paid public charging is rare and undesirable. Drivers reported that 81% of charging took place at home, 7% at work, and only 2% at fee-based public chargers.
- Popular charging station locations are too crowded, and a significant number of the locations have frequent equipment failures.
- Home charging stations are too expensive. Nearly a third of owners found the cost of installation to be “much higher” than expected.
- Special EV utility rates spur vehicle sales. 15% of drivers say that time-of-use rates were an important factor in the decision to buy an EV.