Consumers consistently cite vehicle range anxiety as one of the largest barriers to EV (electric vehicle) adoption, but only 8% of EV owners have ever completely run out of charge, with the majority (64%) saying they’ve never come close to running out of charge. Conversely, one in five (21%) new car buyers states they have run out of gas at least once in their life.
“There is a significant gap between the range anxiety consumers expect to have and the reality of that anxiety once they become EV owners,” said K.C. Boyce, Automotive & Mobility and Energy vice president at Escalent. “According to our Path to Purchase DeepDive study, 50% of EV owners found owning an EV easier than they expected, with 43% having their expectations met. Range anxiety is more of a psychological barrier to EV adoption as opposed to a tangible hurdle, which should give comfort to consumers who are interested in an EV but worried about running out of charge.”
Those are the latest findings of the 2022 Charging Infrastructure DeepDive from EVForwardTM, the largest, most comprehensive study of the next generation of electric vehicle buyers. The dedicated platform was developed in 2019 by Escalent, a data analytics and advisory firm with extensive experience counseling the world’s largest automotive and energy companies. The EVForward Charging Infrastructure DeepDive explores consumer expectations for home and public charging, evaluates the charging landscape, and lays out charging solutions for next-generation EV buyers.
Consumers continue to expect that most of their charging will happen at home, accounting for 73% of anticipated charging time. However, respondents expect to charge in public, at work or at school 25% of the time, suggesting a need for sufficient public charging with a strong user experience.
“Given the small amount of market share there is for the taking, it was critical for the federal government to step in to seed much-needed growth in public charging stations,” said Ben Lundin, Automotive & Mobility insights director at Escalent. “Consumers look to a variety of public charging providers when faced with the need to use one. Outside of Tesla, there’s no clear leader in sight, creating significant opportunity for a market leader to emerge and be the go-to charging provider for consumers.”
Plug compatibility is key for public charging companies in building brand loyalty, with many consumers stating that if they encounter an issue with plug compatibility, then they are unlikely to ever return to that charging provider again. Consumers also say that charger availability—knowing a charger will always be available upon arrival—is more important to them than pricing. Public charging providers that meet consumer expectations for plug compatibility, availability, reliability and pricing while also eliminating dissatisfying factors such as idle fees will engender the most customer loyalty.
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This EVForward DeepDive was conducted among a national sample of 1,218 respondents—with 53 EV Owner, 423 EV Intender, 488 EV Open and 254 EV Resistant respondents as identified by Escalent’s algorithm—from August 8 to August 31, 2022. 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.