A national survey of consumer attitudes towards plug-in vehicles suggests that people would prefer control to convenience in many charging scenarios, and that most want to be able to choose renewable energy.
For “Consumer Preferences for the Charging of Plug-In Electric Vehicles,” researchers Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute gathered responses from 542 people. A majority of the respondents had never owned or ridden in an EV, but 17% had some prior experience with the technology.
Among the findings:
To manage the costs and electricity demand at home, 73% of people would elect optimized charging as opposed to on-demand charging.
65% said they’d prefer to prioritize renewable energy sources.
84% expressed interest in V2G technology, which would enable them to feed electricity from their vehicle to the public grid in exchange for reduced rates or other compensation.
“We noticed that people tend to prefer the things that give them the most control, rather than the most convenience,” Schoettle said. “For example, respondents seemed to think that a traditional cable was the best way to recharge, even though inductive wireless charging could enable a self-fueling vehicle. A person wouldn’t be required.”
The researchers also compared the ability of current regulations to support various charging scenarios, and found that not all regulatory standards would currently support consumers’ top requests.
“A system that operates correctly, yet fails to satisfy the preferences and expectations of the PEV users, may end up limiting future acceptance of such systems and PEVs in general,” the report states. “Potential future uses of PEVs to enable self-fueling of self-driving vehicles may be problematic or unfeasible without the support for scenarios such as plug-and-charge and eVehicle roaming.”