Although the amount of EV’s on the road doesn’t match with the expectations, the number of EV’s is growing rapidly. Who are the people that drive an electric vehicle and how do they use them? Are there any common characteristics?
An article in The Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at new findings in research for electric cars in the USA. An interesting finding is that drivers of electric cars drive less, possibly because they are using electric vehicles primarily for short trips like driving to work or to the grocery. Or, of course, it may be the well-known range anxiety. Research found that limited range caused many EV owners to avoid longer or discretionary trips, to the movie theatre or to visit friends, for instance.
Other findings among the research: most of the EV drivers live at the West Coast of the USA and the buyers of plug-in vehicles are relatively more affluent than the average motorist. Besides, owners are also more likely to be “greener”: a large portion of electric-car buyers report having solar panels.
The results are important for the utilities that build, maintain and operate the power grid. EV Project data show that owners of electric vehicles tend to cluster in the same neighbourhoods. An interesting fact, could this be because people are “infecting” each other? In these neighbourhoods people mostly plug in at similar times, usually in the evening. This can increase the load on a single transformer significantly, and lead to the equipment aging more quickly, as well as to power outages.
Besides the fact that the power grid has to be sufficient, the outcome that people live near each other maybe asks for a different kind of marketing for electric cars. What do you think could be a good strategy? And do you have an idea of other common characteristics of EV drivers?