Our sixth 1-click survey invited your response to the following statement: “More of my friends and colleagues would buy an EV if there were more fast chargers in my region”.
You can download a 1-page summary of the results with a graph of EV owners’ responses here:Download 1-pager
Most (71%) of the test drivers of the Flip the Fleet software think that increasing the number of fast chargers will increase the likelihood that their friends and colleagues will buy EVs. Nevertheless, 10% do not think increasing rapid chargers would make a difference – mainly because their region is already well served with rapid chargers, and/or because price and the range of the EVs are the primary obstacles to switching. There was a consensus amongst respondents that lack of fast chargers is partly only an issue of perception (actually a misconception) and part of a general lack of reliable knowledge amongst the general public about EVs. In practice most EV owners can manage without fast chargers. Occasional long-trips might require a bit more planning and slower travel, and most EV owners retain a pre-loved ICE for such trips anyway. Some commented that the perceived is going to reduce anyway as the range of EVs extends and the existing rate of increase in rapid chargers fills the gaps. One member urged Flip the Fleet to help dispel the myth that lack of rapid chargers makes EV ownership a hassle. In general your responses underscore the value of Flip the Fleet provided we can get your testimony out to prospective buyers (getting beyond “preaching to the converted” as one of you put it in 1-click survey #5.
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. Please add comments to deepen our discussion.
Range anxiety: “Fast chargers are one of the ways that ‘range anxiety’ can be alleviated” • “It’s like having a gas station for a petrol car….sometimes you’re going to get caught short, so many think EV’s are for the dedicated few” • “There is a perception amongst many of my friends and colleagues that lack of fast chargers is a problem now and will be more of a problem in future” • “One of the major concerns of anyone considering an EV is range anxiety” • “ICE drivers perceive availability of existing charging points is inadequate” • “Range anxiety is the main reason I have for wanting more EV charging places. I’m planning a trip to Milton tomorrow in my Leaf, 65 km according to Google. 2 x 65 = 130kms. I know I can do up to 140 km in my Gen2. But if I have to run the heater, I lose up to 40 km range” • “When I show my car to people and explain the advantages they are impressed. But almost the first question asked is “But where can you charge the battery?”
Slower travel on long trips: “Worry relates partly to current EV’s range restriction and associated fear of being stranded, and partly about the travel delay caused by charging”
A need for education of EV realities: “I think many of the general public do not understand the details of electric vehicles” • “more coverage for long distance travel (the main country routes) would be most important in terms of perception” • “I think main problem is still lack of knowledge about how electric vehicles work and charge”
Cost of fast chargers is worth it: “I don’t mind paying for electricity for charging. It’s still cheaper than smelly old petrol” • “it’s dearer than charging at home, but no big deal because I only need to go on longer trips occasionally”
Increasing EV range will help: “EVs are not going to become popular around Central Otago until they have a 20–300km range at a price similar to that of ICE cars”.
To buy, or not to buy? “Most of my friends are not of the early adopter ilk … and will wait a long time until EVs are close to the norm! They haven’t thought much about owning an EV as it’s only us “”weirdees”” that own them … so they have mild amusement, but no real interest yet. For these people direct government backing/support, including mentioning climate change, will be required. Also most buy second hand and fairly low cost imports … so EVs only just entering that market. This group are now 45+, so this is not a youth view” • “Workmates are more varied and two have bought Leafs – both have no kids so have more flexibility with budget. However both saw it as “virtually free” motoring over 5 years or so. Other younger staff are quite disinterested in cars as they live in Wellington CBD. Others have families and would buy a new SUV with 7 seat capacity. Others worry about towing things. So really we need a greater range of affordable EVs. To my mind paying a premium price is small price to save the species – but others seem happily oblivious of climate perils as live in “Kiwi mainstream media” happy land”
Some places are well served already: “We already have a fast charger in Silverdale (THANKS VECTOR!!!!!) and one in Albany, so I feel that we’re well covered already. But the people I talk to are always asking about them – so the more, the merrier!” • “Rodney and Central Auckland are reasonably served at the current demand levels”
Otago needs more chargers: “We still need a chain of fast chargers up SH85 (Maniototo) and SH8 (Lawrence) to fully link coastal Otago EV owners to rest, recreation and sun in Central Otago, but Network Otago are leading the way brilliantly by placing four rapid chargers in northern Otago and up the Waitaki Valley over the next two months for use free of charge. Thanks Network Otago for stepping up, and thanks Delta for supplying the rapid charger in Dunedin free of charge for over a year now! Take a bow.” • “Most common question is related to range limitations for our Leaf. If we were able to tell friends we could get from Dunedin to Central Otago more would buy EVs”
Henrik & Dima
24 April 2017