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EV Drivers — Who Are You? Why Are You? What’s Next?

EV Drivers — Who Are You? Why Are You? What's Next?


Revealed on Might 12th, 2019 |
by Zachary Shahan

Might 12th, 2019 by Zachary Shahan 

Since 2016, CleanTechnica has revealed annual reviews on electrical car drivers, which electric automobiles (EVs) they drive, what they anticipate to buy or lease next, their charging experiences, what options they want in a car, and extra. We also ask related inquiries to non-EV drivers. This is fascinating stuff and we share the outcomes with the CleanTechnica group after the complete evaluation is completed.

It’s time for an additional round of survey collection. With so many more individuals driving electric this yr, I’m notably excited to see the outcomes and see how they’ve changed over time. I think about lots of you’re curious, too.

When you drive an electrical automotive (or multiple), we’d extremely respect it in case you might full a number of of the next surveys (grouped by country):

USA & Canada

For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electrical drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For individuals who don’t but drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electrical drivers.

For individuals who don’t but drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For individuals who don’t but drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electrical drivers.

For individuals who don’t but drive an EV.

UK & European nations not listed above

For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electrical drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.

Additionally, share with pals!

Each of the last two years, more than 2,000 EV drivers in almost 30 nations completed our surveys (which are moderately in depth). That has helped to convey far more EV market awareness to the world. This yr, we’re planning to boost the variety of entries quite a bit and we might be getting broader knowledge.

We’ve two major company sponsors this yr — EV battery big CATL and EV charging chief Volta — which allows us to do a broad, random-sample, professionally carried out survey in the US to match with our own EV driver surveys. Having these sponsors also allows us to gather extra vital knowledge from a handful of European nations — the Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany, and the UK. Will probably be fairly fascinating to do thorough comparisons of EV drivers throughout these totally different nations.

As a particular because of anyone who completes our surveys, you’ll be able to receive the complete report without spending a dime once it’s written — simply ship us a notice as soon as completing the survey.

In case you are new to CleanTechnica or haven’t read every single article we’ve revealed up to now 6 months, you possibly can stroll by way of the archives for our 2018 EV driver report to explore earlier findings. (Though, in case you are completing the 2019 survey, I have to request that you simply full the survey first. ? )

You possibly can learn the chief summary under to kick off that studying.

The electrical transport business is among the hottest industries on the planet. Billions of dollars are pouring into electric car manufacturing plans, electrical car startups, battery suppliers, charging station leaders, and more. A few of the largest industries on the earth are initially of what appears to be a dramatic, quick shift toward basically totally different cars, buses, boats, and planes (ultimately).

When it comes to electrical automobiles, shopper selection is growing each month, driving vary is enhancing annually, and we’re beginning to see some genuinely mass-market models. However numerous questions stay. What do electrical automotive drivers and potential consumers want, require, and go to bed dreaming about? For the third yr in a row, we’ve dug into these issues in one of the crucial complete EV driver investigations on the planet.

In early 2018, we surveyed over 2,000 electrical automotive drivers dwelling in 25 nations (including 42 of 50 US states, 20 European nations, 5 Canadian provinces, Costa Rica, and Australia) as well as over 1,000 potential electrical automotive consumers in 37 nations (including 38 of 50 US states, 30 European nations, 6 Canadian provinces, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Panama). We needed to seek out out what early electric automotive adopters require and want from their subsequent electrical automobiles and from EV charging networks. We additionally needed to seek out out what EV life has been like for them to date. Moreover, we needed to match their pursuits, wishes, and demands to the pursuits, wishes, and calls for of potential EV consumers.

The report segments responses by region (North America vs Europe) and in accordance with three distinct electrical car teams — Tesla drivers, pure-electric but non-Tesla drivers, and drivers of plug-in hybrids. This segmentation unveils clear variations on many subjects, which is wise when you consider the huge variation in consumer experience for every sort of EV and for the two areas.

Report lead designer Kamil Grzywacz of Grinspire/Leonart Agency

Range & Batteries

One of the fascinating subjects to discover is the buyer strategy to vary (which is essentially about battery measurement). In response to our surveys:

• The vast majority of Tesla drivers in both North America (86%) and Europe (72%) anticipate their subsequent electric automotive to have over 250 miles (400 km) of vary. For different teams, this >250 mile phase was virtually all the time the phase getting probably the most help, but the expectation of such excessive range was not as dramatic.

• Non-Tesla drivers of absolutely electrical automobiles additionally picked this feature extra ceaselessly in North America (43%) however not Europe (where 24% chose >250 miles but 25% selected 191–220 miles).

• Plug-in hybrid drivers additionally strongly expected to get a totally electric automotive with >250 miles of range in North America (51%) however have been much less involved about that a lot vary in Europe (43%).

• So far as non-EV drivers, 39% of North People reported that they require over 250 miles of range in a totally electrical automotive whereas 33.5% of Europeans reported the same.

The summary statistics on this matter don’t do the nuance justice, although, so leap into the vary chapter of the report for more details on this matter.


Autonomous driving functionality is all of the hype, however how a lot do electrical automotive shoppers truly want or require such options? In response to our surveys, there’s a large difference once more between what Tesla drivers want/anticipate and what different EV drivers and potential EV consumers need/anticipate. When requested about which specific options have been both required or probably required in order for the respondent to decide on one EV model as an alternative of some other EV mannequin, this is how the responses broke down:

• Tesla drivers in North America — 54%

• Tesla drivers in Europe — 54%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in North America — 26%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in Europe — 32%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in North America — 32%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in Europe — 15%

• Non-EV drivers in North America — 30%

• Non-EV drivers in Europe — 33%

Once we dove into specific semi-autonomous driving options in additional element, we discovered probably the most curiosity (by far) in autonomous cruise management, with the clear #2 want being autosteer, after which there was much less but still notable interest in auto parking features.

Solar & Power Effectivity

Electrical automobiles and solar power seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Unsurprisingly, relative to the broader market, a really high proportion of electrical automotive drivers who even have photo voltaic panels on their roofs. In accordance with our surveys, this is how solar energy possession broke down by phase:

• Tesla drivers in North America — 31%

• Tesla drivers in Europe — 24%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in North America — 28%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in Europe — 32%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in North America — 21%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in Europe — 24%

• Non-EV drivers in North America — 13%

• Non-EV drivers in Europe — 21%

On the subject of power effectivity — while driving and in addition at residence — many respondents indicated that having an electrical automotive made them use power extra effectively or conservatively. This is a vital and rarely studied or discussed benefit of electrical automobiles. Not only are electric automotive drivetrains far more efficient than gasoline or diesel automotive drivetrains, but electric automobiles additionally encourage their house owners to consider their power use and conserve quite a lot of power all through their day. Principally, we’re seeing the other of Jevon’s paradox here.

EV Models

Respondents to our surveys broke out in an identical approach as the overall electrical automotive market each with regards to electrical automobiles they have been driving already and their expected subsequent automobiles.

Meaning lots of Nissan LEAFs, Tesla Model S’s, Chevy Bolts, Chevy Volts, and Renault Zoes. It additionally means respectable numbers of the BMW i3, Tesla Model X, and Tesla Model three (in North America).

In fact, apart from continued curiosity in those models, a ton of people anticipate their next/first EV to be the Tesla Model 3. A large quantity also chimed in that they have been waiting for the Tesla Mannequin Y. Another model that acquired notable curiosity in Europe, apparently, was the Hyundai Kona EV. We hope Hyundai is getting ready to serve all of that demand! Some other models had a little bit of shopper demand as nicely.

Notably, a fairly greater proportion of respondents didn’t know but which model they’d buy subsequent.


Probably the most vital shift on the buyer aspect of the equation on this transition to electric transport is that drivers charge their automobiles relatively than filling them up with liquid gasoline. This comes with a lot higher comfort most of the time — because of residence and workplace charging — but in addition presents some challenges for long-distance journey and for households that don’t have residence or office charging.

In accordance with our surveys, EV drivers don’t discover public EV charging tremendous handy or dependable, however additionally they seldom depend on it because the overwhelming majority of drivers have house charging. As more shoppers enter the EV market, handy and dependable public charging should grow to be far more necessary. We’ll see subsequent yr how this matter evolves.


It’s all about the benefits, child! Electrical automobiles supply many advantages. Our report delves into early electric automotive driver and potential driver views on these advantages. Probably the most fascinating findings is the variety of causes individuals have been impressed to go electrical. Nevertheless, the one that clearly stands out above all others at this point is the environmental benefit.

In any other case, sure electric car benefits that have been necessary to respondents different by the type of electrical automotive that they had. Tesla drivers have been notably impressed by the new tech of EVs and by their on the spot torque. Apparently, regardless of the upfront worth of a Tesla, those drivers have been also enticed by financial savings. Nevertheless, in North America, non-Tesla pure-EV drivers and PHEV drivers have been far more enticed by monetary financial savings. In distinction, this profit wasn’t such a robust attraction for any of the EV segments in Europe.

Car Class

One of many least talked about matters within the electric automotive market is the shortage of shopper selection. Electric automobiles are usually not represented in each class, and there’s truly a dearth of options in a few of the hottest courses. Particularly, there’s a considerable amount of demand for electrical automobiles that fall into the SUV, CUV, and full-size automotive courses, however there are just a few options available on the market in each of these courses, particularly in the extra reasonably priced segments.

As a little bit of a shock, the phase most fascinated about an electrical pickup truck was the North American Tesla driver phase. Curiosity in that car class was adopted by North American non-Tesla pure-EV drivers and North American plug-in hybrid drivers, respectively. There was virtually little interest in an electric pickup truck in Europe.

Special Options

Numerous particular function are an enormous deal to specific shoppers, while others don’t care about them at all. Taking a look at over a dozen choices in combination, what we found is that buyers closely want autonomous cruise management, over-the-air software updates, superfast charging, quick charging, the power to preheat or pre-cool the automotive using a smartphone app, and the power to verify charging standing on a smartphone app.

There’s additionally robust shopper demand for a handful of different options, and there’s once more vital variation in preferences relying on region and relying on which sort of EV respondents had.


Who are these early electric automotive fanatics? As you could have heard before, they’re properly above the typical in terms of revenue. That stated, there’s vital variation throughout the eight segments, and one of many segments is extremely balanced throughout the revenue ranges.

The respondents have been overwhelmingly male, but they have been intently cut up between those that had youngsters dwelling in their houses and people who didn’t.

In North America, approximately half of respondents lived in cities with a population of 500,000 or more. In Europe, nevertheless, the overwhelming majority lived in municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents. Particularly, North American respondents have been much more likely to reside in cities of 1 million or extra. 


Tags: EV drivers, EV surveys, France, Germany, netherlands, norway, UK, US

Concerning the Writer

Zachary Shahan Zach is tryin’ to assist society assist itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He’s additionally the president of Essential Media and the director/founding father of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is acknowledged globally as an electric car, solar power, and power storage professional. He has introduced about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of masking photo voltaic and EVs, he simply has lots of religion in these specific corporations and seems like they are good cleantech corporations to spend money on. However he provides no professional investment advice and would moderately not be chargeable for you dropping money, so don’t bounce to conclusions.

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