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More than 50 percent of people surveyed in the service territories of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Southern Co. would prefer to charge an electric vehicle (EV) at home, according to surveys conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
The EPRI surveys also characterized consumers’ perceptions of EV ownership and their expectations of electric utilities and associated services.
“These surveys help in developing preliminary forecasts for electric vehicle adoption and identify the corresponding infrastructure and charging needs,” said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of power delivery and utilization at EPRI. “As we survey people in different regions of the country, we see different perceptions about electric vehicle technology. This will help utilities in developing their specific plans to meet the needs of their customers.”
Almost two-thirds of respondents (59 percent for TVA and 61 percent for Southern Co.) expect their local utility to develop public charging stations, while more than half (52 percent for TVA and 57 percent for Southern Co.) expect their utility to offer installation of at-home charging. A substantial portion of power customers also will look to their electricity provider to offer potential EV buyers “buyers guide” information about various types and makes of EVs.
What factors influence a car buyer’s likelihood to go electric? Survey results point to the availability of multiple locations to charge and the availability of fast-charging technology. Results also show that consumers might be hesitant to pay for faster charging, with more than 50 percent in both surveys unwilling to pay $500 to install an optional 220V upgrade system in their home for fast-charging electric vehicles.
The surveys provide insight into areas of consumer sentiment:
  • What and when residents drive, and how far,
  • Impact of knowledge on EV purchase interest,
  • Understanding vehicle charging and willingness to pay, and
  • Vehicle purchase intentions.
When asked if they would purchase an EV if it were available in the make and model of their preference, some 15 percent of survey respondents indicated they would.
In 2010 EPRI published results of a similar survey conducted in conjunction with Southern California Edison (SCE) that characterized SCE consumers’ perceptions of EV ownership. That survey found that 95 percent of respondents prefer at-home charging.
About EPRI
The Electric Power Research Institute Inc. conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment. EPRI’s members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.
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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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