EPRI report measures consumer interest in electric vehicles

Palo Alto, Calif., July 27, 2010 — Ninety-five percent of people surveyed in Southern California say they would prefer to charge their electric vehicle at home, according to a report from the Electric Power Research Institute.

That and other findings can be found in survey results that characterize consumers’ perceptions of electric vehicle ownership as well as their expectations of electric utilities and associated services.

“We envision that the survey results can be used by utilities and other entities to show clearly customer preferences as they relate to electric drive vehicles,” said Arshad Mansoor, vice president for Power Delivery and Utilization at EPRI. “The decision to buy an electric vehicle is personal, but it will be influenced by public factors such as cost, convenience and the overall performance of the vehicles and the infrastructure we build to serve them.”

The survey, conducted in conjunction with Southern California Edison, found that 62 percent of respondents have a 3-prong, 120-volt outlet that fulfils the basic requirement for home charging: located close to the vehicle, typically in a garage, carport or driveway.

For 240-volt charging, about 83 percent report having 240-volt service in their residence, but may require an additional outlet closer to the vehicle.

Public fast-charging availability (for example, a 10-15 minute charge facility) may have a strong influence on PHEV adoption, as two in five hybrid owners and one in three non-hybrid owners say the capability will “definitely” influence their buying decision.

About 75 percent said would pay a 33 percent premium (over the slower, at-home rate) to fast charge. That percentage drops to 30 percent if the relative cost of fast charging is double that of slow charging.

The survey provides insight into four key areas of consumer sentiment:

* At-home and public charging expectations;
* Equipping residences for vehicle charging;

* When, where, and from whom customers expect to get information about electric vehicle ownership; and

* How these factors influence the likelihood of the purchase of an electric-drive vehicle in the next five years.

Looking ahead, EPRI developed the survey for subsequent use by utilities and others to inform local stakeholders about consumers’ perceptions.

Ultimately the aim is to combine survey responses from many areas to provide a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of issues and opportunities related to consumer adoption of electric vehicles.


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