BEV Shoppers Lack Awareness of Vehicle-To-Home, Vehicle-To-Grid Capabilities

February 20, 2024

New data from Escalent EVForward™ reveal need for compelling value propositions to sell consumers on a BEV-centered energy ecosystem

Utility companies and automakers are enthusiastic about the potential of engaging battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as energy assets in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) programs, but consumers are yet to join the charge, with the majority indicating little or no familiarity with the technology. That’s according to new research from Escalent, a top data analytics and advisory firm that provides strategic counsel to most of the world’s leading automotive companies.

When asked about vehicle-to-home (V2H) energy systems, whereby vehicle owners can leverage their BEV battery as a backup power source, 42% of vehicle shoppers reported never having heard of the concept. Only 25% reported being familiar. Consumers demonstrate even lower levels of recognition for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) programs, which enable BEV owners to sell power back to the grid. More than half (52%) said they are unaware of the technology, and only 18% indicated they are familiar with it.

These are the latest findings from the 2023 Charging Experience DeepDive report from EVForward™, the largest, most comprehensive study of the next generation of electric vehicle (EV) buyers. The report seeks to understand consumer expectations of BEV charging and the charging experiences of current BEV owners.

“There are substantial benefits to using vehicle batteries to support the grid and much of the technical groundwork is already in place,” said K.C. Boyce, a vice president in the Automotive & Mobility and Energy practices at Escalent. “However, at present, few vehicle buyers are even aware the technology is available, and using the battery in grid support applications feeds into the concern many prospective BEV buyers have about battery life and replacement cost. If utility companies and automakers want to realize the technical potential of V2X, they’ll need to create compelling value propositions to get consumers on board.”

With little exposure to V2H and V2G programs, buyers have mixed feelings about the offerings. Vehicle shoppers voiced enthusiasm about the idea of using their BEV to power their home during an outage, and 34% noted that the capacity for V2H would make them more likely to consider a BEV. But many were concerned about wearing down their battery and being left without a drivable vehicle. Buyers also expressed trepidation at the up-front cost of a home integration system.

This aligns with broader findings around the cost associated with BEV charging. Despite buyers expressing high levels of confidence that they can charge at home, 57% are worried about the expense. Unsurprisingly, consumers responded positively to utility-led efforts to limit BEV charging costs. Most said they would be likely to enroll in programs that discount energy prices in return for charging at off-peak times (79%), utilizing renewable energy sources (73%), and demand response (70%).

A smaller majority (56%) stated they are at least somewhat likely to opt into a V2G program. Buyers cited the ability to save money as a primary motivator, while voicing fears about placing excessive strain on the battery and diminishing their BEV’s charge, and therefore, range. This points to a need for clear, concise messaging that emphasizes the longevity of BEV batteries and demonstrates how V2H and V2G programs can help BEV owners unlock new capabilities without compromising vehicle performance.

In addition to capturing sentiments toward public and home BEV charging, the EVForward™ Charging Experience DeepDive also examines the role of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the home energy ecosystem. Escalent’s data show that consumers, particularly those considering BEVs, are interested in investing in technologies such as solar panels and home battery backup. However, roughly half of respondents said their primary vehicle brand does not offer these products, despite the fact that a growing number of automakers do. Of those who said their vehicle brand does provide solar panels and home battery backup, most are Tesla owners. This suggests that the efforts of other OEMs in the space are, for the most part, not yet visible to buyers.

“There is significant potential for OEMs to expand their role in the BEV ownership experience by supporting home energy systems and encouraging further BEV integration,” said Nikki Stern, Automotive & Mobility senior insights manager at Escalent. “But it’s not enough to simply take the technology to market. Automakers must do more to build awareness of their home energy products and the advantages for consumers.”

Click below to learn more about the study.


About the 2023 EVForward™ Charging Experience DeepDive

This EVForward DeepDive was conducted among a national sample of 1,313 respondents—with 108 EV Owner, 340 EV Intender, 463 EV Open and 402 EV Resistant respondents as identified by Escalent’s algorithm—from October 5 to October 23, 2023. These respondents are a subset of the EVForward database, a global sample of more than 50,000 new-vehicle buyers age 18 to 80, weighted by age, gender, race and location to match the demographics of the new-vehicle buyer population and by vehicle segment to match current vehicle sales. The sample for this research comes from an opt-in online panel. As such, any reported margins of error or significance tests are estimated and rely on the same statistical assumptions as data collected from a random probability sample. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

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