November 23rd, 2020 by Andrea Bertoli
Below is a portion of our newest report, The State & Promise of EV Charging Infrastructure: North America & Europe. This article explores why people who drive electric vehicles in United States and Europe went electric, whether or not they have home solar panels on their roofs, and what specific electric vehicle models they drive. Enjoy!
For the second year in a row, CleanTechnica has published a series of in-depth reports on electric car drivers and EV charging infrastructure in North America and Europe. With our partners CATL and Volta, we expanded our reach and surveyed nearly 10,000 people across the world this time around.
In the past several years, we have asked respondents about solar power adoption as well as electric vehicle adoption. Having a solar system on the house is a great way to ensure that your EV has the least climate and air quality impact possible. It allows you to charge with the energy of the sun, and thus have a much lighter footprint.
It’s surprising to see that in the US, the results are quite different for our readers vs. EV drivers in the general population — especially since it would seem more likely that a higher percentage of readers of CleanTechnica would have rooftop solar but that is not the case. Also interesting is that, when combining the responses from the organic reader surveys and the paid surveys of EV drivers, the US had a much lower rate of solar adoption than Europe.
We love electric vehicles — we love the acceleration, the technology, the lack of pollution, and the safety. It’s interesting to us to see what aspects of EVs motivate other drivers. If you’ve ever driven an EV, you’d be forgiven for thinking that people might choose this type of vehicle just because it is so quick and fun to drive. And yet, it’s heartening to see that the large majority of EV drivers have made the choice for an EV because of the environmental benefit. The other highest rated responses were the new technology, the lower maintenance, and the smooth/quiet driving experience.
In the results, some of the disparities we see between organic and paid outreach include the following in both the US and Europe:
- The general population (paid) outreach showed significantly different motivations for purchasing the vehicles. Specifically, general population EV drivers cited financial savings as the highest rated response, followed by the ease of driving and the new technology.
- The organic outreach results (i.e., CleanTechnica readers) overwhelmingly chose environmental benefit as the reason for choosing an EV. The other highest rated responses were the new technology, the lower maintenance, and the smooth/quiet driving experience.
Looking beyond why drivers chose a specific car, and diving into which model they chose, there was a clear winner — the Tesla Model 3 dominates the market in both the US and Europe. It was the vehicle owned by the highest percentage of drivers in both survey data sets, and far more respondents owned it than owned any other car.
In the US, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt were the second and third most common EVs. In Europe, the LEAF held onto #2, but the BMW i3 was the third most common vehicle.
It’s not a surprise to us that our readers are Tesla fans, but what is interesting is to see the numbers drop off so sharply: the Tesla Model 3 is owned by 28.7% of survey respondents, while the next most common (the Leaf) has only about 11.4% of responses.
One of the largest differences in US data was seeing the Ford Focus Electric and Honda Clarity rank so high for paid outreach, and rank so low for organic outreach.
For the full report, click here: The State & Promise of EV Charging Infrastructure: North America & Europe.
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