Our fourth 1-click survey invited your response to the following statement: “The Flip The Fleet project will help accelerate EV uptake in NZ”.
You can download a 1-page summary of the results with a graph of EV owners’ responses here:Download 1-pager
Please add comments to deepen our discussion.
A clear majority of the test drivers of the software think that Flip The Fleet can indeed help accelerate EV uptake in New Zealand, primarily by providing scientifically robust information to reduce uncertainty and demonstrate the practicality of EVs. However, some participants worry that the results will only preach to the converted. We agree that this is a risk which must be managed by considerable investment in smart communication, social networking and other marketing tools. However we have deliberately waited to activate our (reserved) Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts or release press statements until we have a full public launch, larger sample sizes and are using more robust indicators in the reports. Our (so far unsuccessful) grant applications to improve the software included large components to actively market and communicate the results to prospective EV buyers, policy makers and politicians, and we will double our efforts to spread the word just as soon as we have a bullet-proof story to tell on all your behalf. We hope that a public launch will be possible in 2-3 months.
Read the one page summary for a sample of the most common themes. Below are additional comments that we couldn’t fit in that summary.
Hold fast to scientific principles: “Protect the scientific credentials of the project to build trust in the data” • “Balanced communication of the results – no exaggerations and shrill yelling of the lessons by EVangelists please” • “Don’t shoot you mouth off until you’ve got better sample sizes”
Providing information, reducing uncertainty and dispelling myths: “I think there is a lack of understanding on how electric cars work and a lot of confusion with Prius type cars etc. Need to organise a travelling museum exhibition on how they work to educate public” • ”there are powerful vested interests, and a lot of petrol-heads out there” • “Flip the Fleet is doing a fantastic job of collating otherwise hard-to-obtain, disparate sets of data from an ever-increasing number and range of EVs, then presenting that information in a clear, easy-to-understand and very useable way. And, as more data are collected, the big picture will fall into place, which will inform potential buyers of the economical and environmental advantages of EVs, as well as any of the pitfalls they might face too”
Citizen Science: “People want to be part of the solution” • “Providing scientific data on the usage of EVs and how quickly (or slowly) batteries deplete etc will help with more uptake of EVs” • “Will the policy makers and boffins actually listen? Some professionals mistrust citizen science as somehow flaky and unreliable, but actually we can all record our dashboard dials” • “EVs need a network of services, infrastructure and knowledge. Intentional communities like Flip the Fleet help identify priorities and make things happen”
Combat reporting fatigue: “Key challenges will be monitoring fatigue and keeping the reporting rates up – it’s the longitudinal data from individual cars that will be the most valuable so rewarding participants in the middle months after the first flush of info will require fresh material – once a years’ data are in the value of the accumulated records will speak for itself”
Cross-check the dashboard data! “My only (small) reservation, in light of the VW (et al) rort, is that the data are largely sourced from the car manufacturers’ software, requiring ‘real-world’ tests to cross-reference or ‘get a fix’ on that information”
Talking about the challenges may scare some people off: “Some may think it is all too complicated and make range anxiety worse, other may gain some comfort to see what other people are experiencing. Now that Nissan NZ have distanced themselves from providing parts for Japanese import Leafs, all this battery talk might scare them off. But Hyundai with a 10 year warranty on the Ioniq battery is a good sign – but it is a $30k car selling for $59k!”
Get the information out to would be buyers, not those with EVs already: “I think the data that is coming out is of great interest to those who have already chosen to go EV. CO2 offset realisations reinforce the feel-good effect of having made the move, battery degradation data is of interest as no-one really knows for sure – cars have not been around long enough. But I am not sure that in itself it will convince people who are not strongly motivated or uncertain to move to EV. Maybe how the data is ultimately presented might change things. It may help people who have a strong desire to go EV to go the last step when they see nothing to be fearful of. Although social media often has questions like “I commute 80km a day, will it work for me”, and gets lots of replies like “I do it all the time, no problem at all, go for it, you won’t regret it”… which does a good job at getting people past the last hurdle”
Ramp up social networking: “I already notice things for instance the lack of use of social media (the instagram has 0 posts)”
Accelerating EV uptake is not just about providing good information: “Change will always be linked to cost – EV prices will fall over time however to a mass-market level”
We must succeed because the issues are important: “We think that the government needs to back this movement towards more sustainable transport by offering incentives etc. Energy return on energy invested of global oil and gas was 1:100 in the 1920s, but it has declined to 1:18 in 2005. Considering this rapidly-declining net oil, it is crucial for NZ to transform the transport industry and replace as many petrol operated cars with EVs”
This is just the sort of critical and honest feedback we need to hone the project. Thanks for participating! Our next 1-click survey will turn outward to a theme of more general interest.
Henrik & Dima