New research from Electric Vehicle Council offers insight into EV drivers and market

May 21, 2024
The future seems bright for the electric vehicle market and its related industries.

The "Electric Vehicle Market Insights" report from the Electric Vehicle Council of the Transportation Energy Institute details the findings of their research into electric vehicle drivers and charging station operators. Using interviews, surveys, and other collected data, the information paints an optimistic portrait for the future of electric vehicles. By learning about the expectations and experiences of charging site users and operators, it's easier to understand what needs and expectations EV drivers have versus past generations of drivers.

Regardless of whether you're one of the people working on these types of vehicles or selling equipment to the people who are, the report offers a fascinating level of insight into the minds of the ever-increasing population of EV drivers and the infrastructure supporting that growth. An overwhelming throughline of external support -- over 94 percent of site hosts report that their local government offices were cooperative with operators, and 98 percent found their local utilities responsive when it came to charging site issues -- reinforces the idea that EVs will only be taking up larger and larger portions of the market share as time goes on. 

The vast majority of charging station owners seem to be expecting further growth. According to the report, 85 percent of charging station hosts included necessary infrastructure and wiring to expand the site's charging capacity when they did their initial construction. An impressive 58 percent also said that installation was easier than expected, which can be taken as a sign that the charging station industry is no longer in its early adoption phase and instead is becoming a stable part of the automotive world as a whole. 

The survey's financial findings offer an additional source of optimism. A staggering 98 percent of site hosts say that their revenue expectations have either been met or exceeded, with a third of those hosts saying their expectations were definitely exceeded. 

The report also confirms that most EV drivers own their own vehicles and drive about the same amount that they did before owning it, though nearly a third say that they've increased their daily mileage since buying an electric vehicle. Almost 70 percent of drivers typically charge their vehicle at home, and only 2 percent of reported charging stations are found at automotive businesses. Unlike traditional liquid refueling stops, the average charging stop takes 30 minutes.

That being said, there are still signs of the ongoing nature of the EV market's adoption, with EV drivers reportedly struggling to understand charging station pricing or how vehicles are charged. 

According to one of the report's surveys, gas-powered vehicles made up 90 percent of American-owned cars. The main reason those drivers consider buying electric vehicles is cost, followed by environmental impact; for drivers who aren't considering an EV, most blamed cost and a lack of trust and infrastructure for EVs. Tesla leads the pack of brands being considered by drivers at 45 percent of those surveyed, while Toyota is a single point behind. Ford's 29 percent, Hyundai's 25 percent, and Nissan's 23 percent round out the top five. 

Additional insights, such as charging station funding, EV customer payment preferences, and typical EV driver demographics, can be found in the Electric Vehicle Council's full report.

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