Your take-home messages:
Hybrid households – those which run a mixed fleet of EVs/PHEVs and ICVs – are seeing the fastest uptake of EV ownership in New Zealand. For most, the new EV in the garage has made little impact on the family’s overall pattern and mode of transport. It has usually replaced the smaller ICV to become the new family runabout for the shortest commute, school pick-ups and groceries. The remaining ICV is still available for extended trips, without range anxiety, and as a workhorse to tow the family boat/trailer/caravan. Concentration of local travel in the family EV means they are travelling further overall than their ICV counterparts. A minority of EV owners are flying less and renting cars more for occasional long trips. Some are exploring new places and a few no longer visit the same places now that they have an EV. EV uptake campaigns should emphasise the social and family benefits of EV ownership more.
This month’s poll:
Our twentieth 1-click survey proposed that: Owning my electric vehicle has changed my mobility patterns and modes, and provided five options to choose from
- a lot
- to some degree
- a little
- not one bit
- Unsure, I don’t know yet.
If the respondent chooses 4 or 5, they were invited to give us feedback in an open comments field. If they choose 1, 2 or 3, they were invited to answer the following supplementary questions by ticking as many boxes that apply to their circumstances:
A. First, please tell us which vehicles you have access to in your household or business (tick as many as apply):
- Pure electric (EV)
- Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
- Internal Combustion vehicle (ICV)
- Electric bike
- Motorbike or scooter
B. Now please tell us how your mobility patterns and modes have changed (tick as many as apply):
- I do more long trips in my vehicle(s) away from home base
- I do fewer long trips in my vehicle(s) away from home base
- I do more kilometers overall in my EV than in my ICV
- I do fewer kilometers overall in my EV than in my ICV
- I travel to new places now than before I owned my EV
- I no longer visit some places now that I own an EV
- I fly more now than before I owned an EV
- I fly less now than before I owned an EV
- I use public transport (train, bus) more now than before I owned an EV
- I use public transport (train, bus) less now than before I owned an EV
- I use rental vehicles more now than before I owned an EV
- I use rental vehicles less now than before I owned an EV
- I walk or bike more now than before I owned an EV
- I walk or bike less now than before I owned an EV
- My mobility patterns and modes have changed in other ways than those mentioned above (please tell us how below)
Finally, these respondents were invited to provide feedback in an open comments field to explain the detail or reasons for their choices.
The poll was sent to 834 participants in Flip the Fleet on 10 June 2018. There were 483 responses by 14 June, including 301 who provided detailed comments and answers to supplementary questions.
Nearly a third of respondents (31%) consider that their mobility patterns and modes have not changed at all since buying an electric vehicle (Fig. 1). A third have registered a little change; 24% some change. Only 12% said it had significantly changed their driving habits. These percentages exclude nine respondents that were unsure, nearly all of whom commented that they had not owned their EV for long enough to know yet.
Fig.1 Responses of 474 participants to the proposition that Owning my electric vehicle has changed my mobility
patterns and modes, June 2018. Nine respondents who were unsure have been excluded from the analysis.
The value of this question?
We think that it is important to gauge how EV uptake impacts on mobility in New Zealand because transport infrastructure is expensive and takes a long time to build. There is a risk that what we build now will be redundant soon because mobility is changing rapidly. Understanding mobility needs is also a key to understanding where EVs will fit and who might be interested, or discouraged, from buying them. Are EVs solely a one-off choice for businesses, families and communities that simply displace an equivalent fossil fuelled vehicle? Or do EVs trigger other adjustments in mobility that will help New Zealand’s quest for a low-carbon and low-cost transport? What are the social implications of EV ownership?
What makes you click?
Here’s a word cloud of the comments you provided. It’s clear that most of your commentary was around longer and shorter trips from base.
Figure 2: A word cloud of the most frequent 80 words used in your responses to the main question of the survey. The larger the word, the more often you mentioned it. Synonyms of charging, short trips and long trips were merged into one word to simplify the depiction of most common themes.
In view of the delays and logistical constraints of charging along the way, we expected that families and business that have only an EV will travel differently from those who own an ICV as well. Therefore, we divided most of the analysis of the boxes you ticked between ‘EV only’ and ‘EV+ICV’ owners. We refer to the latter as owning a “family hybrid”. It turns out that most of us own an EV as part of a family hybrid fleet; i.e. by far the majority (78%) also own or have ready access to an ICV and/or a motorbike (Fig. 3). A minority (3%) have access to both a PHEV and an EV.
Figure 3: Availability of other electric vehicles and fossil fuelled vehicles to respondents to this survey. Some respondents also had regular access to electric bicycles (18%) and/or ordinary bicycles (43%), but these are excluded from the analysis. EV= pure electric vehicle; PHEV= Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicle; MB = motorbike.
A popular misconception amongst non-EV owners is that owning an EV would severely restrict their travel. In fact, our survey suggests that around 5% of owners travel fewer kilometres overall in their EV or PHEV than in their ICVs. Certainly, the EV does the day-to-day joblist: making short trips from home to work, school or shops. However, around two-thirds of respondents say they travel further in their EV or PHEV than in their current or previous ICV. This difference is largest in those families that retain an ICV as part of their “family hybrid” (Fig 4).
Figure 4. Changes in vehicle use patterns after purchase of a pure electric vehicle. The sample is divided into families and businesses with only EVs (blue bars) and ones that continued to own an ICV (orange bars). Data for PHEVs are excluded because of small sample size. The bars show the 5% and 95% uncertainty interval around the mean.
Frequent comments show that this results from concentration of travel in the family’s EV whenever the ICV was not required. Many hybrid households are moving from a dedicated owner/driver for each vehicle to allocating the EV and ICV cars to suit the circumstances. “We have four drivers in our household, often going different places,” said one respondent. “We have two EVs and one ICE. We try to offset as many short trips from the ICE and utilize the EVs to the max. Sometimes the ICE will sit for a week at a time.”
Another said: “We have to plan more who gets the EV and who gets the ICE (depending on who’s going further to utilise the EV more.”
But comments show that there is more to it than just transfer of travel to the EV whenever possible. For example, one said: “It probably looks weird that I do more long trips and kilometres and travel to new places now than before I owned an EV, because anyone would most likely expect the exact opposite, due to range anxiety and lack of charging infrastructure. However, there’s a very simple reason for that – it’s a lot more fun to drive an EV than an ICE. I don’t have to feel bad anymore about driving around for fun, and I enjoy the small challenge to plan my longer trips in a way that I combine charging stops with lunch and tea breaks, short walks or shopping. It just feels like a much more enlightened way to travel.” Driving for sheer pleasure and stopping to smell the roses while recharging were common themes as a pleasant adventure instead of a fossil-fuelled mission to the destination.
Most EVs are used for short trips, but around 10% of respondents reported doing more long journeys. The majority, especially families and businesses with only an EV and no ICV for back-up, tend to avoid longer trips from home base (Fig. 4). Despite this reduction in the number of very long trips away from base, many families and businesses find themselves travelling more overall now that they have an EV. For example: “Driving an EV has not hindered my mobility at all. But the EV has allowed me to make longer trips more regularly that I would have hesitated to make with a petrol fuelled car. I am on the pension and must count my pennies. Making an hour trip into Wellington to visit my new granddaughter was costly ($20 at least) with my previous car. Now I don’t even think about it and visit when I want. The only difference is that I have to plan ahead and make sure the car is fully charged as I don’t like to fast charge my 30kw battery because I understand it is not so good for battery health.”
Reduced costs has meant EV ownership has expanded rather restricted mobility at a local level: “We have a greater sense of freedom with our EV, mainly through the dramatic drop in the cost of fuel and maintenance. Our petrol costs alone with our ICE were usually $450/month, but now in the first month of Leaf ownership I’ve spent approximately $45 in electricity (Flick, EV rate), which is an immediate and real cash saving of over $400.” Another said: “I used to say no to extra trips in the weekends/school holidays because each trip to town and back was $8… that adds up. Much less now with the EV, so I feel much more relaxed about extra trips within town.”
For some, the cost of commuting was an important reason for using the EV more: “It used to cost $10, now it costs $1.80.” It’s not just about dollars – time is important for some: “A big advantage to me in driving an EV (aside from the obvious reasons ie, environmental impacts and savings in fuel costs) is being able to drive in the EV priority lanes on the motorway onramps. This can sometimes save me about 10 – 15mins in the mornings.” This cost saving also helps some businesses deliver services to customer i.e. one respondent said he/she visits clients, rather than asking them to visit him/her.
EV and PHEV owners are included in the 12% who had made the biggest changes in their transport options. As a PHEV owner said: “Main changes are keeping any trips into town [37km return] reserved for when more than 50% charge. I am much more aware of battery usage. I am on my first road trip in my PHEV and hate using petrol! There just aren’t enough fast chargers and I still haven’t figured how to charge to the max.”
Relatively few respondents changed their use of other forms of transport following purchase of their EV or PHEV (Fig. 5). There is weak statistical evidence that a small proportion of LEV owners fly less after they purchased an EV. The minority of EV owners who fly less than previously are potentially much more important for climate change mitigation than their numbers suggest. Comments suggest that their reduction in flying is part of a wider and deliberate transition for people seeking to reduce emissions, especially to mitigate climate change. This is consistent with our April 2018 1-click survey that showed that around half of the people with EVs bought mainly for environmental reasons (https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-18/). Some even reported that the Flip the Fleet reports made them aware for the first time how important it was for them to reduce air travel. For example: “Having our EV and having my nose rubbed in the CO2 emissions issue by Flip the Fleet has made me travel by car to Christchurch (380km each way) rather than fly for work trips. I am also very reluctant to fly internationally or to conferences around NZ. Realising how little my EV emission saving actually is compared to air travel has definitely brought emissions to front of mind – I was so proud of buying an EV, and still am, but this pride multiplied the disappointment I felt when I realised what I emit by flying. We really need a family dashboard that includes home electricity and firewood use, air travel and the EV.” However, the February 2018 survey showed a mix of trajectories: some people buy EVs because they already have environmental concerns, while others take more action because owning the EV reinforces or changes their values or awareness (https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-16/). Therefore, many EV owners may already have reduced their flying before buying their EV. Another couple said: “We’re a long way from our whānau and big-city attractions so we fly about the same amount as we used to (6-8 domestic flights a year), but the EV at least gives us a minor realistic offset on all the days when we don’t fly.”
Figure 5. Changes in mobility modes after purchase of a pure electric vehicle. The sample is divided into families and businesses with only EVs (blue bars) and ones that continued to own an ICV (orange bars). Data for PHEVs are excluded because of small sample size. The bars show the 5% and 95% uncertainty interval around the mean.
Approximately 5% of families that own just an EV now rent cars more often, compared to 1 % of the families that retained an ICV (Fig. 5). Occasional renting or flying to fill the gaps for long trips from home base until cheaper long-range EVs become available: “My brother’s family has recently moved from Taranaki to Wellington,” reported one respondent. “With an ICE vehicle I would have driven to Wellington. I wouldn’t attempt to drive my 30kWh Leaf that far. Too many stops to fast charges and range anxiety between chargers. Will look for a budget flight or rental car until I get a next gen EV with better range in future.” Renting an ICE car for longer trips is an easy option, thanks to savings they’ve made through their EV.
Some households have gone fully EV and borrow an ICE car as required for occasional, longer trips such as visiting relatives more than 150km away or for towing a trailer. “Can’t make it quite as a far out of Wellington in the weekends so have to use other people’s car occasionally.” Fortunately, some EV owners are open to sharing their EVs and ICVs for the greater good: “We also lend our Subaru as often as we can to other EVers – it makes us feel good to share,” said one respondent.
“People are talking a lot about EV ride sharing or communal ownership. That’s ace and good for learning and spreading the word and experience of EVs, but really what we most need are communal ICEs for use in those occasional long trips or towing the trailer. The ideal would be for fewer families to have a car at all, but if they need one, for it to be just an EV, and then to borrow the use of an ICE when it’s absolutely needed.”
There are some EV car sharing schemes in New Zealand, which reduces the number of vehicles overall, rather than just substituting ICVs with EVs. However, some ICV sharing schemes would give EV-only households inexpensive access to a communally owned ICV for long trips, off-road use and towing. This ability would allow some hybrid households to drop their home ICV and run only an EV for their regular daily needs.
Some communities feature households which own ICV cars, but share a communal EV, as a low-cost run-around vehicle.
There is weak evidence that EV-only families walk or bike less since purchasing their EV (Fig. 5). For some, carbon-fuelled guilt-trips have evolved to a guilt-free, emission-free drive in the EV. Perhaps some who previously took the bicycle to avoid taking the ICV, now take the EV with a clear conscience? Many mentioned sitting in traffic with a clear environmental conscience in an EV, enjoying free parking for EVs at work, compared with sitting in a fuel-burning ICV. As in previous Flip the Fleet surveys, this reflects a growing awareness of the carbon footprint generally, for example: “I felt guilty driving ICEVs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane during recent trip to Australia but there didn’t seem to be any viable EV option.”
There is no evidence that use of public transport changed on average after families purchased a LEV (Fig. 5). Some EV owners may use public transport or hire cars for trips unsuitable for their EV. Others reported using public transport less because their commute is cheaper by EV, especially when parking at work is free.
Around a third of respondents ticked the box for ‘other’ changes in their mobility: reducing flights or using hybrid taxis when out of town, or taking an e-bike instead of a bus. One uses an EV for picking up hitchhikers, thereby sharing the EV experience.
We expect individual owners changes to depend on personal circumstances like age, urban/rural environments, access to public transport or commuting distances. A larger sample of respondents and more detailed research would be needed to confirm that no more differences exist, but overall, we can conclude that purchase of an EV or PHEV is not associated with large changes in how people move about. However, some of the changes in travel behaviour are subtle and will not necessarily reflected in overall statistics like total distance travelled, or mode of transport used. Changes include a high degree of route planning to ensure optimum use of charging stations, ensuring a full charge before a long trip and allowing for higher battery drain in cold weather or for an uphill, home run.
Some EV owners are now visiting new places, but others, especially those with just an EV, are no longer visiting some places that they used to frequent (Fig. 4). There is no doubt that EV owners think more about how they use their EV and, once people have started saving, they want to save more, as the following respondents demonstrate:
“I use +-80% of my 24kWh battery most days, with two slow charges at home, although I don’t have time on a Monday for the day-time charge at home, so I need to build in a rapid charge stop, which is free, so is a great economical choice, but can be a challenge with a toddler.”
Charging needs get accommodated by changing mobility patterns: “Due to the car’s built-in thermal protection system, only two consecutive battery quick charges can be performed per trip before the charge speed slows to a snail’s pace to protect the battery. The battery takes many hours to cool down due to its high mass, so this limits the maximum daily travel distance to less than 320km, at least in the warmer months anyhow. So it’s changed some use patterns and changed some thoughts as to what vehicle mix to use.” Another said: “I organise my messages/shopping/dog walks when I travel to Christchurch so that the last one ends up near a charging station so that I can top up before heading home (it’s uphill and uses more charge than the trip in).” Some EV owners now take lots of shorter trips, even if the overall distance travelled does not change: “But less concerned about taking multiple small trips in the EV, used to be against popping out to the shops knowing that the short trips in the ICE car are the worse bit for wear and emissions.”
Conclusions and recommendations:
Disruption to mobility patterns
Our results suggest that buying an EV or PHEV has relatively little impact on the mobility patterns of most owners at a macro level, such as in distances travelled, places visited and the mode of transport used. Nearly a third of respondents (31%) consider that their transport habits did not change one bit, and a further 33% changed ‘a little’ since buying an EV. Clearly switching to an EV is more about a simple substitution of one vehicle type with another rather than a large change in their overall mobility.
Certainly, a widespread belief amongst the wider public that EV ownership severely restricts the mobility of owners is simply not true: in many cases exactly the reverse happens. This is not the same as saying that EVs will suit everyone’s needs or not force some compromises in mobility on some owners: it just means that where the EVs are fit for an owner or a family’s needs, they are often a benefit in many unexpected ways beyond the expected financial and environmental rewards.
Interpretation of this survey
It’s important to note that our questions pivoted around whether various aspects of mobility changed in the period after getting an EV. This is not that same as asking whether acquisition of the EV caused the changes. Several comments in earlier 1-click surveys referred to the EV choice fitting other changes in peoples’ households. For example, some people bought the EV as they came into retirement to reduce costs, and retirement itself will have altered mobility patterns. Our polling and participant profiles show that many seniors are buying EVs (e.g. see Figure 2 on p5 of Report #3 posted at https://flipthefleet.org/resources/research-reports/). Travel, and issues like active transport (walking and biking) reduces for some elderly people, so some of the changes we registered in Figs. 4 & 5 may correlate with getting older rather than be caused by EV ownership. Some people may have bought an EV precisely because their living location and mobility needs altered in ways that made it now a practical vehicle choice, rather than the other way round. More broadly, environmentally conscious citizens may already be striving to fly less quite independently of buying the EV (see https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-16/ for many examples like this). It is therefore unsurprising that some change was registered in both directions before versus after the EV purchase.
EVs are relatively new on the market, they will be the newest car in some family hybrid fleets. Some of the attraction to using it in preference to the older ICV may relate to the more comfortable, quieter and safer ride it provides. Some of such benefits would be available had the family bought a relatively new ICV vehicle rather than a relatively new EV. We notice that many discussions in social media about EV versus ICV benefits or constraints are conflating age and vehicle type effects. For example, a family’s costs savings on petrol when they trade-up an old, relatively inefficient ICV for an EV will be much greater than had they substituted a new ICV for the EV. This is why Flip the Fleet’s predictions of fuel use savings are based on estimating the fuel efficiency of near-new ICV’s of similar size and power (see Report #2 posted at https://flipthefleet.org/resources/research-reports/).
In retrospect, we have become concerned that some participants who clicked ‘not one bit’ when confronted with the survey’s overarching question may have only thought of broader issues like distance travelled, or how they got there. Such participants therefore did not intercept the detailed list of tick-boxes to test whether more subtle shifts in mobility might have occurred. Our supplementary questions may therefore have stimulated deeper thought and comments for just a subset of Flip the Fleet members. This means that the exact estimated percent responses for the detailed questions should be treated with caution – they are at best indications of the relative degree of change in the different dimensions of mobility rather than absolute measures of the frequency of change. The direction of change after purchasing an EV and commentaries on how and why the changes occurred are more useful than the quantitative scores. This preliminary survey is best treated as a qualitative analysis of the issues to be explored by more thorough follow-up research.
Social wellbeing: there is more to EVs than cost savings and environmental benefits:
Respondents’ comments reveal a large number of more subtle adjustments in mobility patterns at a micro-level. It’s clear that the transition to electric vehicles will have many social impacts, many of which are thoroughly enjoyed by their owners. Emission-free and savings on fossil fuel comes with a guilt-free bonus. Parents report picking up their kids on rainy days or happily driving them to sports practice because they don’t feel guilty about using the car, the way they did with the ICV. It’s easy to cruise into town for a forgotten item or even go for a drive for pleasure. Several respondents say they visit family more often because it barely costs a cent. Many respondents are planning their routes and drivers with care, and more willing to stay in the moment: take time en route to recharge, enjoy a coffee and even stop to explore towns that they used to whizz through on a mission to their destination. EVs seem to bring a slower pace of life.
Social dimensions of EV ownership have been comparatively neglected in Flip the Fleet’s communication of EV benefits and constraints so far. Partly that bias relates to the more quantifiable nature of calculating dollars saved or GHG emissions avoided etc. However, as some of you said in your comments to last month’s 1-click survey, it’s not all about numbers ( https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-19/). We will try to catch-up from now on to add more social and emotional responses to the good and not-so-good dimensions of owning EVs.
Family hybrids: the main pathway to change?
The third main conclusion of the survey is that the “family hybrid” represents the main pathway to EV ownership. Households that run two or more motor vehicles are likely to be the fastest to adopt EVs. Many families have solved the current constraints of the EV’s comparatively low range and inability to tow trailers etc. by retaining an old ICV for these special occasions.
Most car journeys are short and close to home – well within the range of an EV running on one charge, commuting to work, picking up kids from school, or nipping into town to pick up a forgotten item, so replacing an ICV with an EV typically sees little change in a household’s driving habits. Some commentators pointed out that retention of an ICV was a useful transition policy that built their confidence that EVs can meet most of their needs: they eventually disposed of the ICV as it was rusting and gathering cobwebs.
Focus of EV uptake messaging to two-car families may be most effective for accelerating uptake because it has fewer barriers to overcome. In the 2013 census, 7.9% of New Zealand households had no motor vehicle. Of the others, 37.6%, 38.4% and 16.3% had access to one, two, or three motor vehicles respectively (see http://archive.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-transport-comms/number-motor-vehicles.aspx). Vehicles that can be used only for work, or only on the farm, and motorbikes, or scooters are excluded from these census figures. The percent of households with two or more vehicles has grown over the past two census periods. Thus, more than 54.7% of households currently have two or more motor vehicles. They are the prime group for substituting at least one of them with an EV. Such households would also be ideally placed to upgrade their remaining ICV(s) when longer range EV options become commonplace. Good information on ‘family hybrid’ advantages, including the social dimensions of EV ownership emphasised above, will help speed up the process; ie, whether they buy the ideal LEV or combination of LEVs and ICVs for the household and business needs or are able to include communal or hire cars in the mix.
The same logic of flexible substitution rates applies to business fleets. Since most current EVs are most suited for short trips where employees do not need to spend time charging, it seems many business fleets are ideally poised to substitute at least some ICVs with pure EVs right away, and then gradually transition to a more fully electric fleet as the new long-range EVs become affordable.
The government’s bulk procurement initiative targeted business fleets, to accelerate the supply of second-hand EVs to the New Zealand domestic market when businesses upgrade. This initiative is on hold for now. EECA primarily targets consumers in general and has encouraged businesses to add EVs to their fleets, e.g. on social media and by updating the Total Cost of Ownership tool to include EVs. This is sensible and can take advantage of tax deductions for eroding the higher purchase cost of new EVs. Data on big business versus private ownership are needed (the Flip the Fleet database is obviously heavily biased towards home and small business owners), but our impression is that the main uptake so far is driven by family ownership. Advocacy of “EVs as a second car for families” could be very successful, because it reduces risk, fits nicely into a household’s vehicle replacement programme, and matches New Zealander’s tradition of owning cars until they are comparatively old.
Are PHEVs a necessary phase in transitioning to EVs?
Are PHEVs the best of both worlds, or an expensive and less environmentally beneficial option than pure EVs? This question has arisen in many 1-click surveys and was the main focus of a survey in October 2017 (https://flipthefleet.org/2017/1-click-survey-12/).
More GHG is emitted when manufacturing both propulsion systems in a PHEV. However, PHEV batteries are usually smaller than EV batteries, so the relative net GHG emitted at manufacture is not certain and will vary between models. PHEVs cost more in repairs and maintenance and EVs are expected to last longer than PHEVs, although the jury is still out on battery renewals.
This month’s survey indicates the efficacy of the PHEV hinges mainly on whether a household can manage on one vehicle and whether it needs to have the capabilities of an ICV and EV in a PHEV configuration. If choosing a PHEV over an EV makes it possible to own just one vehicle, which is run mostly as an EV, then a PHEV may be a net financial and environmental gain over a single EV.
If the household has little need for the PHEV’s ICE propulsion, then a pure EV is likely to be more cost effective. If the household needs two vehicles, then a combo fleet of EV and a PHEV may be the perfect answer, but this occurs in only around 3% of the households that participate in Flip the Fleet (Fig. 1). Instead, many pragmatic families run a virtual hybrid of an EV and an ICV across all the members of the household. Education and decision tools are needed to help prospective buyers reliably assess whether they really do need a PHEV, an EV and ICV, or just an EV.
- Focus a communications strategy for encouraging partial and gradual substitution of ICVs with EVs within multicar households .
- Include calculators to guide families and businesses consider financial and environmental costs, and the benefits of substituting ICVs with either (i) just an EV, (ii) just an PHEV, (iii) a mix of an EV and PHEV, or (iv) a mix of EVs, PHEVs and ICVs.
- Add more emphasis on the social and personal benefits of EV ownership alongside the more obvious financial and environmental benefits of EV uptake.
Your comments in detail:
Below is a lightly edited and re-arranged selection of many of the comments received. We have arranged the topics in order of overall importance signalled by the scores (Fig.1) except that comments for people who chose Not one bit and Unsure appear in their own section at the end.
Concentrating use on the ICE in multicar households
We have 4 drivers in our household, often going different places. We have 2 EVs and 1 ICE. We try to offset as many short trips from the ICE and utilize the EVs to the max. Sometimes the ICE will sit for a week at a time. ● When having the choice between using [our] ICE or EV, the EV will always be used. ● The biggest other shift in our family mobility patterns is transfer of most (around 90%) of our regular local travel to our Leaf – the Subaru must be getting lonely and feeling unloved. Its main function is towing, particularly in autumn when we are planting trees and need the trailer. It’s also handy to have the Subaru to drag bikes into Central Otago. It’s not that we do more kilometres overall now with two cars, more that we concentrate the travel into the EV and scale down the kilometres on the Subaru. ● We make the same trips but now the EV gets used first ● When we had two ICVs they did similar monthly mileages. Since flipping one to EV, the ratio has been about 80/20 EV/ICV ● Use ICE vehicle much less ● I use the Leaf as my first option and the Tiida as a second. ● As we use the EV for most of our travel, we do a lot more kms in it than our ICE ● I do try to use the EV rather than the ICEVs as much as I can. ● We tend to prefer the EV except for the times it would be impractical such as long trips ● Will drive the BEV, in preference to the PHEV on the weekend.
Wife will often steal the EV ● We have to plan more who gets the EV and who gets the ICE (depending on who’s going further to utilise the EV more. ● My wife and I are a pretty effective team – we fit in each other’s need for cars in the daily routine to mainly use the Leaf. That won’t be so easy for couples that are both in fulltime work (we are semi-retired). ● My girlfriend and I will coordinate our trips as much as possible (she has an ICV), so we use my EV more often. ● I think more about travelling and plan better. Because I do not want to drive an ICE, I try to schedule more efficiently so that our EV is used effectively by both of us. So while we are a two-car family, we are actually more a 1.3 car family, in that the ICE is only ever used reluctantly. My wife hates driving it now and I just don’t want to but when needs must… ● Who uses which vehicle, when is the main change. Instead of each of us always using our own vehicle, we try to use the EV as much as possible and on the longer journey if we both need a vehicle at the same time. ● I tend to drive the EV more often if both of us are travelling to town rather than using the ICE vehicle at times, the vehicle my husband drives.
ICEs still rule on the farm
EV has replaced one ICV for nearly all travel except for off-road around the farm. ● SUV now only gets used for real farm work.
ICE still have better grunt and range
I need to use my ICV to tow my trailer, so on those occasions I don’t default to my EV and that makes me sad. ● I own a motorbike but it’s on the market. Our ICV does long trips and tows things. Other than that, it sits in the garage ● We are now a 2 car family. The ICE doesn’t get much use other than for towing, carrying loads and some long journeys. Any change to patterns is really just around structuring long journeys in the EV around fast charge stations. ● I feel generally less comfortable using my ICE now that I have the Leaf, but do use it for trailer towing and the rare longer trip. With ChargeNet now establishing fast chargers in the South Island I will start using the Leaf for long trips soon. ● I use my EV for local travel and I use my IC vehicle for longer distances and to trailer my EV to motorsport events ● I do more travel around town with my EV, but less with ICV, due to being hard to get out of Auckland in the weekends, or come back in. ● When I first got the Nissan Leaf I loved it but not the fact that I couldn’t go long distances without a lot of stops and at that time it was impossible to get to my weekend home in Patearoa; that is what drove me to purchase a Tesla. Now I can do everything I used to do with a fossil fuelled vehicle other than tow a trailer which I don’t do that often. ● Most of our transport is local, and EV is always the first choice. The ICE is kept for towing the boat and otherwise only used by me when the wife has taken the EV to work and I need transport. I don’t bike in winter.
The ICV is back-up when we can’t get the community EV
Our EV is a community vehicle so we still have a back-up ICV for when we can’t get it.
Conventional hybrids are still less efficient than EVs
Our ICE car is a hybrid, non-plug in, so is relatively fuel-efficient, but we now only use it for very long trips (e.g. Wellington to New Plymouth, Taupo or Auckland) and when the two of us need to be in different places at the same time.
Poor, lonely, neglected ICEs!
Use the EV for all local use now, which we didn’t do before, that is we don’t take the ICV at all anymore ● I think a lot of EV owners could drop their old ICE as a second car, but people tend to hang on to them as an insurance policy. We need to send them to the ICE knackers’ yard sooner. ● It seems mad to use an SUV that weighs two tons to go to work and back.
Use the EV to save cost
I have fewer concerns about visiting clients as a result of decreased travel costs ● Because the cost of travel has dropped to about one-sixth of what it cost before (in what was already a miserly petrol user), I have no qualms whatsoever about just hopping in my car and going somewhere, rather than wondering whether it was worth going there. ● I use the EV more than the petrol car to justify the far higher purchase price. ● Both our vehicles are new Mercedes-Benz cars, one of which is the plug-in hybrid. We tend to use it more as it costs so much less to run. The 50 litre fuel tank in the hybrid has allowed us to travel over 500 kilometres in 5 weeks so far, most of which is town use and the tank is just below half full ● With solar, and soon to be Tesla power wall 2, even in winter my EV costs less than 50 % of the cost of Prius. ● We favour using the EV over the ICE car because of the cost savings and efficiency. We also make MORE shortish trips overall by car than we used to because we feel that there is no efficiency or engine-wear down-side in doing so ● It is cheaper and more convenient to use the EV. ● Routine maintenance cost, time and inconvenience has been significantly reduced. ● Before we got a Leaf we would travel between Te Awamutu and Hamilton without thinking about it. Now between my wife and myself we plan our trips to maximise the use of our EV and minimize any use of our ICE car. So overall our kms have dropped mainly due to trying to avoid buying petrol.
The EVs cheaper than public transport
I used to catch public transport to work at a cost of $10 a day. Now I drive for $1.80. My work provides free parking so that and no RUCs have distorted my mode choice. Not ideal but I’ll switch back once RUCs are in.
EVs set me free
As a pensioner for 20 years I have been aware of the costs of using my ICE but now with my solar power I can go wherever I want and not just where I need to, without having to consider the cost. Unfortunately, tend to jump in the EV for short trips when would have biked previously. An unexpected down side of owning an EV. ● Use EV for 40km round trip commute, which I now do more often and more guilt-free. Used to resist driving. Tried an electric bike, but too far (and cold in winter). ● I feel less constrained to use the EV considering its reduced impact on the environment. ● Actually, my answer ‘not one bit’ means that driving an EV has not hindered my mobility at all. But the EV has allowed me to make longer trips more regularly that I would have hesitated to make with a petrol fuelled car. I am on the pension and must count my pennies. Making an hour trip into Wellington to visit my new granddaughter was costly ($20 at least) with my previous car. Now I don’t even think about it and visit when I want. The only difference is that I have to plan ahead and make sure the car is fully charged as I don’t like to fast charge my 30kw battery because I understand it is not so good for battery health.
EV for short; ICE for long
Use the EV more frequently than ICE vehicles for short runs around town that would be uneconomic otherwise. ● I don’t do long trips in my EV but probably more smaller trips as it costs next to nothing to zap around the corner, being rural nearest shop 7 kms away. I go to town, 20 km, I will plan a shop etc around charging EV. ● Use EV for local trips and ICE for long distance trips and work. ● During the weekend I use my EV more than I would have used my ICV. During the week I do have to be careful as I commute about 95km per day. ● I used to commute to work via ICV (130km/day). I now usually use an EV to commute. If my work for the day requires me to take a different route (go to or from work via a meeting somewhere else, I might use the ICV due to range required. ● Other vehicle is a farm truck – it can do long runs but is heavy and noisy. ● I do not use the ICE where possible. ● The EV will not always have the required range for my work and I will swap to a ICV. But I prefer the EV if I can manage. ● We choose to use the EV when we would have used the ICE (Diesel) when visiting my parents. It pays to charge to 100% for this trip. The ICE vehicle is a work vehicle, so it’s really more of a cost to us, but much less than my old petrol car was, and we don’t have to shift the child-restraint around as much (which, I must admit, sucks in a Leaf!). ● The EV is a second car and the ICE car is used for work (longer kms) ● I always drove as much as I needed to before with my ICE car and my EV is a second car (replacing a scooter) so not much has changed in terms of distance travelled. Living on Waiheke Island, range is not an issue. We do though use the EV as our primary car (for 80% of kms covered) so we do use a hugely reduced amount of petrol. ● I am almost retired from paid work and am redirecting routines. We travel very much as we did with 2 ICE vehicles, just use the EV whenever possible and enjoy the lower fuel costs. I use my EV in Matamata, a few kms, and to and from Hamilton and Tauranga as we have in the past. Days are sometimes slightly differently organised so I can recharge if necessary. This has become easier with each trip. For example last week we came out of Hamilton via Innovation Park at Ruakura, to use the free charge point very conveniently available there. ● I do a lot of short local trips. Great not having to go to a gas station to fill up. ● 95% of my driving is around town, well within car’s range. Other few day trips out of town can take EV car or hire an ice car ● I still use my cars as transport just the same as always. My EV is not my only car and I must admit so far it’s not the car I use for out of town trips. Even so around town it’s saving me lots in petrol ● My 2011 Leaf does everything needed for commuting duties that my previous car did. We have a separate car for longer ranges and will replace that with another EV once a cheaper long range capable option becomes available. ● I need to use the ICE for trips out of Auckland. ● I do all long trips in my Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf does the daily 115km commute and weekend sport. Top of the South doesn’t have a good enough [rapid charging] network yet for long EV trips.
EVs ideal for commuting
EV is used for commute to work & back – approx 20kms. ● I am a lot more aware of HOW I drive since owning an EV, which is a good thing. ● I retired about the same time as getting the EV. As a result, I have more time to get from A to B and walk or use public transport more. Also, I have a gold card. Apart from this, we use the EV in preference to our Toyota Avensis station wagon – we use the Avensis as a workhorse. We have to plan longer journeys much more in the EV than we used to in the ICV. We also drink more coffee on these journeys. ● Style of driving changed once switched to EV. Much more aware of traffic and judging stopping using regen. ● I bought my EV about a month ago to replace my ICE car for my work commute and it’s been perfect for this. Even though I haven’t changed my patterns of travel, I have noticed a huge change in my patterns of driving. I’m more relaxed, especially in traffic, I’m more aware of my speed, especially on the motorway. I inwardly smile when i pass a petrol station, especially with the increase in fuel costs. Got to say I’m loving it! ● Our Leaf does everything we need. We don’t often do super long drives but when we have done fast charges were always available.
No longer need to multitask on trips
I no longer think about the cost of fuel and am more likely to use the car for trips that I would have previously tied in with other necessary vehicle use. i.e. instead of waiting for the next work trip to go collect something from the supermarket, I’ll simply nip down and pick it up when I need it. ● Short trips I used to avoid in my ICE if they were not completely necessary, or could wait until i had several things to do. Now, I will happily go out for that one thing in my EV, knowing that i am not using petrol. ● I’m happy to go into town and do just one thing now whereas when I had my ICE I planned multiple things because of the cost of petrol.
Better planning for EV trips
We plan more when we take the EV ● I have to plan my trips more carefully and allow more time for travelling (to make sure I have range and re-charging available) when using my EV to go on a trip. ● I have to think ahead a lot more with my EV being the only vehicle. I can’t make extra spontaneous trips. Most of the time I don’t mind at all – it was a nuisance on one occasion. ● We use the EV more than we expected to, but the trips need to be planned more ● All the rest of the time I try to maximise my use of the EV in every way, making as many trips into town as I can (delivering my wife to her job and picking her up again at the end of the day, eg). This frees up the EV for trips I need to make while my wife is at work. I’ll drop back into town whenever it seems necessary – to buy beer or veges or to give a neighbour a lift or to do voluntary work etc. ● I plan transport for my trips more carefully (charging stations etc) ● I have to re-route myself so I can still manage my to and from work travel as well as running around for my child and parent. Unexpected travel is not helpful and I have to use petrol car. ● A little bit of planning required when travelling long distance ● I think a bit more about planning a trip to include charging. ● Have to plan high km days carefully so we don’t run out of power – the odd time this means taking a petrol car instead of our Leaf. This usually only happens a couple of times a month. So range is a slight issue sometimes but may not have bought it if it was more expensive! ● I save up my week day (driving around town) chores and do these on a day we take the ICE into town. ● I find I think more about trips and do more planning but don’t go any less distance.
Peak traffic family bliss
I commute at a different time – on peak without worrying about sitting in traffic wasting fuel or missing out on a car park at work – since they have dedicated EV parking. I do this to take the kids to school x2, we use the EV lane on-ramp, listen to talking books on the journey and I charge the EV at work ● The EV is warmer, drier & cheaper to run. ● I don’t need to think twice about having to do a return trip when children are doing separate activities, where before I would think of taking dinner to town as the cost of the trips would add up and our children would miss out.
Changing the destination to score freebies
Changed places visited due to fast charger placements ● I think more about my travel ● I now have a preference to go to Oamaru rather than Dunedin due to presence of free chargers in Oamaru and Hampden (home is Palmerston) – so trips to Oamaru are effectively free at present.
Smelling the roses
I just love driving my Tesla EV and therefore have no hesitation in jumping in the car and driving near or far I’m more conscious of how I travel. ● I don’t mind taking longer to get to my destination and find I have more enforced rest stops (due to charging) in my EV than in my ICV. I try to consolidate my trips as much as possible to maximise the amount of charge I have at any given time. ● I drive in a more conservative manner and at slightly less than the posted speed allowable. ● I’m happy to go out for drives – on our petrol car we just used to go from A to B; in the EV I’m happy to take the long way around, to enjoy the drive. ● I drive slower and with a lighter foot. I’ve learned how to drive economically ● The EV is so nice to drive, I drive more when I can ● I plan my daily driving much more and allow more time on my slightly longer trips, enjoy the drive more and arrive less stressed. ● We allow more time for charging on longer trips ● Hundreds of times I have passed Mangaweka on way to Wellington (home town grown up in not lived in for >30yrs) and only twice stopped there – on way and on return in EV in 17/18 summer ● We have a greater sense of freedom with our EV, mainly through the dramatic drop in the cost of fuel and maintenance. Our petrol costs alone with our ICE were usually $450/month, but now in the first month of Leaf ownership I’ve spent approximately $45 in electricity (Flick, EV rate), which is an immediate and real cash saving of over $400. Everyone we talk to is amazed. While the financial advantage wasn’t the main appeal in choosing an EV, it has contributed to us travelling more frequently and feeling more relaxed about it. ● The purchase of our PHEV has enabled us to maintain frequent trips to our bach (and associated high mileage) at a much reduced expenditure compared with using our diesel vehicle. ● Still dependent on car transport for getting around. Just pleased I have an EV to complement my existing lifestyle – they have enhanced daily experiences but not modified them. ● Total long distance km haven’t changed much, still go on long trips, but tend to explore more along the way.
Less guilt, more exploring
I often go to places that I wouldn’t bother with an ICE, but driving EV carries less guilt. ● Free charging means I’m keen to get out of town on the weekends with the family and explore beautiful NZ. ● I drive quite a lot and used to always use our diesel 4×4. I’m very happy to drive so much – no emissions, no costs, easy to park, good for school and town runs, great to drive. ● I get a bit lazy when the weather is bad, and take the EV rather than biking to work. The EV unfortunately makes me feel less guilty about driving! ● Having an EV, and charging it from my rooftop panels gives me the feeling that my motoring is free ● EV is so economic my partner and I share it and pick up or drop each other of as required. The ICV has been given to a daughter to use. ● Less reluctant to use the car thanks to negligible running cost, especially for very short trips where an ICE is most inefficient. ● I use the car (EV) more than I did before (ICV), since the cost is so much lower. Previously I would have rationed my trips. ● I used to say no to extra trips in the weekends/school holidays because each trip to town and back was $8… that adds up. Much less now with the EV, so I feel much more relaxed about extra trips within town. ● Feel less guilty about short trips (e.g. shopping). ● I don’t feel any enviro-guilt about using the EV, so a short trip is no big deal any more. More a pleasure, actually. And it’s fun to drive ● Whereas before I might have biked, walked or used public bus, now if I am in a hurry – I use the EV because I don’t have to feel guilty about using fossil fuels and polluting the environment – i.e. I am being green, though now I feel a little bit guilty about the tyres. ● Will take bike for short trips to shops etc. ● I feel less guilty about driving my EV so where previously I would have consolidated trips in my ICE or used my bike, I now use my EV. Luckily there is no traffic congestion in Chch. ● Having an electric vehicle has allowed me to do what I would regularly have to do anyway, but without the same damaging cost to the wider environment. ● Because my driving patterns haven’t changed. However I am so pleased to be able to use electricity rather than petrol to fuel my car as it is helping the environment. This was our goal in owning our cars and PV panels and LG battery. ● My use of bike has decreased because of weather ● Getting an EV made us a 2 car family. I usually cycle to work except in poor weather. I now use EV instead of bus in poor and doubtful weather.
Less guilt, more short trips
It’s a bit like the days of single car family or car-less days. EVs are guilt free short trips compared to combustion engine short trips. ● I don’t mind short trips round town, knowing my car is not putting out greenhouse gases. ● I certainly drive more now that I have an EV. I always used to hate driving (due to concern of environmental consequences – aka carbon guilt), but now that I have my EV I feel somewhat liberated in that regard. So, as an example, I’ll pick up my kids after school on a rainy day if I can, whereas previously I would have just let them walk in the rain. ● Owning EV means that we can jump into it without thinking about cost and pollution ● Any extra short trips we do instead of walking are guilt free ● Because we live 10km out of town, we used to think twice before making a second daily trip into town, but now we don’t worry about it. ● We drive a lot more than we used to, now the ice cream is more expensive than the trip ● I actually drive more because I see it as a better option than other modes of transport, and also because it’s such a pleasure to drive an electric car and it’s cheaper than an ICE. ● I do lots more short trips. I always warm up my diesel so easier using EV.
Mindfulness in driving
I/we go out less. I travel slower. I think about my day’s needs as a tradesman more thoroughly. I carry fewer tools. ● I use my EV as my primary source of transport in the same way I did my petrol car. I just have to plan more carefully to ensure I have sufficient battery for longer trips. ● Nothing has changed other than the fuel we use and the amount we pay. We think a lot more about how to do a trip than we ever used to. ● I rely primarily on my EV for most trips except longer (i.e. more than a couple of hours out of town). My patterns have changed only to the extent that I spend more time planning trips and try to do more things at once when I am out in order to avoid multiple trips on any given day. ● I know the distance of where things are now. I have to be a little more aware of how and where I am driving to as there is still some planning involved that was not present in ICE life.
Priority transport modes
Order of priority for transport are pushbike, e-bike, EV, then ICV (with eliminations due to constraints). Good for me, wallet and the environment. Constraints are whether I need to take kids, weather, luggage requirements, distance to travel, and availability of each item ● I changed from commuting by motorcycle to commuting by EV. ● Purchased as a city car and working 10/10 ● We don’t have access to any public transport ● The main factor in us using public transport less, however, is that the ORC coincidentally stopped running our bus route (this was very disappointing, as we were regular users).
EV driving is an adventure
We are an EV-only family now. We got rid of the gas guzzler and thought – hey if we need to go on a long trip we’ll just rent a car. But guess what? Over the last six months we’ve driven Christchurch to Invercargill three times and Christchurch to Dunedin once, and each time we just made a long day of it and just took the EV. So we’ve never actually rented an ICE to go on a long trip. EV driving is an adventure, slow driving is fun, and it’s cheap. Whereas the alternative is dirty, noisy, expensive, ho hum – the only upside is it’s a bit quicker, but there is no fun in it otherwise.
No escaping range constraints
It’s far more hassle owning an EV due to always having to consider whether I have enough range left. ● The only disappointment I have in driving an EV is that I purchased with the understanding that I would be able to make trips to the Hokianga, but because the battery has degraded significantly since purchase and 80km of the trip is remote and hilly, I have been unable to make this trip in my EV and have instead had to rely on a petrol vehicle. ● We don’t visit our family in Gore so often because after an 85% charge in Balclutha, Gore is right on the edge of our charge. ● Range anxiety ● Limited range of our 2011 Leaf means we won’t go to next town for lunch as much as we used to, but we still use the ICE to go long distance ● We ask: can we take the EV on this trip considering time and charging stations. the more fast chargers there are the more we will be able to use the EV. However I don’t tend to do longer journeys, or if we do we use our other vehicle. ● Main changes are keeping any trips into town [37km return] reserved for when more than 50% charge. ● Still have to have an ICE vehicle for inter-city trips. Gen1 Leaf doesn’t have the range, plus fast charging expensive. ● I am much more aware of battery usage. I am on my first road trip in my PHEV and hate using petrol! There just aren’t enough fast chargers and I still haven’t figured how to charge to the max. ● Can’t make it quite as a far out of Wellington in the weekends so have to use other people’s car occasionally. ● Better organised as have a limited range, so all the ducks in a row mean less kilometres over all ● I more carefully measure my commute, as distance is limited by remaining charge – so I likely travel somewhat less overall ● My brother’s family has recently moved from Taranaki to Wellington. With an ICE vehicle I would have driven to Wellington. I wouldn’t attempt to drive my 30kWh Leaf that far. Too many stops to fast charges and range anxiety between chargers. Will look for a budget flight or rental car until I get a next gen EV with better range in future.
Avoiding flying to reduce overall carbon footprint
Having our EV and having my nose rubbed in the CO2 emissions issue by Flip the Fleet has made me travel by car to Christchurch (380km each way) rather than fly for work trips. I am also very reluctant to fly internationally or to conferences around NZ. Realising how little my EV emission saving actually is compared to air travel has definitely brought emissions to front of mind – I was so proud of buying an EV, and still am, but this pride multiplied the disappointment I felt when I realised what I emit by flying. We really need a family dashboard that includes home electricity and firewood use, air travel and the EV. ● I try to fly a lot less than I used to – a consequence of being more aware of the polluting aspect of burning fuel in the plane I’m guessing. But when I did (last weekend first time in ages), I bought some carbon offsets from a third party carbon offset organisation to try and lessen the guilt.
It’s difficult to reduce flying
We’re a long way from our whānau and big-city attractions so we fly about the same amount as we used to (6-8 domestic flights a year), but the EV at least gives us a minor realistic offset on all the days when we don’t fly.
Campervans in the country
Longer trips are usually in campervan. ● When going on longer trips we always use our campervan (diesel) now.
Communal sharing ICE when necessary
As for the other ways, it is mostly about driving style and pace. We have slowed right up, not because we have to, to get the range (that’s hardly ever a problem around home base) but we still drive slower and less aggressively. We also lend our Subaru as often as we can to other EVers – it makes us feel good to share. People are talking a lot about EV ride sharing or communal ownership. That’s ace and good for learning and spreading the word and experience of EVs, but really what we most need are communal ICEs for use in those occasional long trips or towing the trailer. The ideal would be for fewer families to have a car at all, but if they need one, for it to be just an EV, and then to borrow the use of an ICE when it’s absolutely needed. ● Generally the EV advocacy movement, and Flip the Fleet, should pay more attention to the substitution issues: what would an EV replace in a small business or household fleet garage? Are you going to buy a newish car anyway (if so, it’s a no-brainer that the new one is an EV)? What is it costing ($$ and environmentally as far as GHGs go) to drop one old ICE and retain another for towing or long trips compared to stepping from a two-ICE family to a one EV family and then rent or borrow for the occasional ICE journey? ● We have just substituted the EV for our commuting instead of the ICE.
Range and cost is worse in winter
Another 5 kWh of battery or an Ioniq would negate the $2.50 to $3 daily purchase of motor camp power during the off peak battery season….$2 per hour. ● 17.2 kWh per 100 kms compared to 16 kWh in the optimum battery climate.
Less exercise with EV
My motivation to walk to work was often about not using the car. I find I have less guilt and probably use the car more. ● The downside is that I tend to bike a little less when in town. ● Even an EV is not without environmental consequence – 20% of the grid is dirty, energy into making the EV, energy into making/maintaining the infrastructure, and the general anti-community aspects of having busy roads carving up our communities – sigh. And yes, I bike less – again, sigh. ● Previously where I might have biked or biked and bussed to minimise climate change emissions, now I simply take the electric car. ● We try and use the EV for longer trips – i.e. up to 100km return but tend to use the electric bikes for up to 5km or use our old Ford Fiesta for those trips if there is stuff to carry or its too cold and miserable! The flesh is weak.
E-bikes: the new wave?
I ride the push bike, as walking and cycle trails are better established in our town I think the e-bike will attract a new segment of riders. It is sad that I attended a Climate Change Conference last Friday and Saturday, only two attendants arrived on bicycle and there were no facilities to park our bicycles. We chained them to electric poles. This illustrated how Kiwi cities are car-focused. If we were in European city we would have good bicycle paths and good facilities for bicycles. (it is a mind shift away from cars) ● Actually, very little has changed. The main evolution is that we use our e-bikes a LOT more! Otherwise, our Prius hybrid is still available for long-hauls ● Love it so much I did look closely at replacing the ICE with an electric bike, however, we still have teens learning to drive so that may be another year away yet. ● My wife takes the Leaf and I feel guilty taking the Odyssey so I bike more. And it saves parking costs and keeps me fitter.
Still use our motorcycle for our toy and discretionary trips for fun. Though it gets priority over our ICE car as it’s more efficient.
Closer to home
We tend to stay closer to home since going all-EV, mainly due to lack of range in our Gen 1 Leafs, and lack of charging infrastructure at remote destinations. This will improve over time as infrastructure gets better and we learn to be more adventurous with our car’s capabilities. ● I have a PHEV and at weekends more typically drive within the EV range of the vehicle – plenty to do close enough to home – when it’s largely taking the dog out to river or beach. Open road travel is now reserved for longer weekend of holiday travel, but still have flexibility to go anywhere anytime. ● I go for more drives in local region for the sake of driving and visiting places due to the free feeling of low marginal cost, no emissions and the driving enjoyment of an EV. On some longer holiday trips where EV not practical (about 50% of them) we have tried different/unusual rental vehicles for the fun (costs easily covered by EV fuel savings during the year). ● Still learning to deal with range anxiety, especially as we have two large 100km hills between us and town, so just getting to town & home is 40%, without even driving in or around town. ● I mostly restrict my trips to the limited range of my 2011 Leaf. I use my ICE for long trips but try to minimise these. ● My longer trips 60km one way will only be undertaken if I have charging available and have time to charge ● Range anxiety is an issue. Rarely affects us in reality but just conscious of it. 30kw leaf 2016.
Finding the balance
We drive more often now than when we had just ICE vehicles. We used to save up multiple errands for one trip to town. Now we do the opposite and do single errands as they come up and tend to look for excuses to go for a drive. We fly about the same frequency, and never use public transport as it’s not convenient to where we live. We may use more rental cars and flights in the future when the need arises to travel further afield. I do cycle less to work now as it seems silly to leave the EV in the garage when they like to be regularly used, at least in the colder months when cycling can be unpleasant. I tended to cycle more before because I was offsetting fossil fuel pollution and saving money whilst keeping fit – win-win. Now I just wear an EV grin ● We probably go into town (Christchurch, say 8-10km return) a bit more often, say 6-8 times per month compared to previous weekly average with the ICV, as cost is so much lower. Long trips with the EV are few and far between (say 3-4 per year at the moment) and so far limited to one tank full distance and to places where we know a 3 pin plug is available for recharging. As yet we ‘can’t be bothered’ hanging round for an EV recharge so use the ICV for long trips, typically holidays. Mostly we deliberately use the ICV about once a week just to ‘give it a run’ or if a towbar is required. Otherwise it is seldom used except when family return from overseas during the summer months. As retirees, we are conscious of the need to keep using the push bikes for fitness rather than take the easy option with the EV. ● Instead of trying to combine all our short trips into one (eg gym, shopping) we occasionally make 2 trips in our EV. However we still use public transport into Wellington when it suits because of parking. We’ll drive to the train or a suitable bus stop in Petone. ● I mostly restrict my trips to the limited range of my 2011 Leaf. I use my ICE for long trips but try to minimise these.
Changing for charging
My mobility to and from work is very much the same, but there are slight changes if I’m making extra trips in the same day, mainly I’m having to stop and fast charge 10-15min if I’m doing a double trip. E.g. Home, Huntly – Hampton Downs, work, return to home. An addition trip, Home to Hamilton, return is where the additional stop to charge comes into play. ● No fast charge stations yet in critical locations – eg Cheviot, Palmerston. ● I select which vehicle we can use according to where the re charge stations are available. ● Occasionally going to charging stations that are not en-route adds a few more kms. Occasionally take two BEV 5 seaters where before would have taken ICE 7 seater ● I have always planned my trips to reduce the petrol cost wherever possible. On my busiest day running kids around for activities I do have to be careful using the heater as by the end of those days I am usually down to about 19%/about 30k. Which doesn’t leave me a lot to play with if I need to make an extra trip urgently anywhere, (emergency doctors etc!) as I am 7km out of Mosgiel to start with ● I travel to Milton once a quarter and I took my EV down there the first time on a wet windy day and had to charge up at a house as I didn’t think I would get back to Mosgiel and then have time to charge slowly for the rest of the day’s activities. I see there is a charger there now so I need to pluck up courage and go and use it. Thanks for all the work you do in this area and hope the above is useful. ● Just really how I plan my day-to-day trips. I use +-80% of my 24kWh battery most days, with two slow charges at home, although, I don’t have time on a Monday for the day-time charge at home, so I need to build in a rapid charge stop, which is free, so is a great economical choice, but can be a challenge with a toddler. ● More likely to go to a place with destination charging ● Long distance travel (>250km) is the only thing that’s changed for me, but I wouldn’t say it’s more or less frequent with the EV vs. the ICV – just that trip planning is more detailed and a bit more of a chore because my Leaf has only 120km range-per-charge on the motorway. ● Due to the car’s built in thermal protection system, only two consecutive battery quick charges can be performed per trip before the charge speed slows to a snail’s pace to protect the battery. The battery takes many hours to cool down due to its high mass, so this limits the maximum daily travel distance to 320km, at least in the warmer months anyhow. So it’s changed some use patterns and changed some thoughts as to what vehicle mix to use. ● Routes and time allowance now incorporate the need to charge. ● I organise my messages/shopping/dog walks when I travel to Christchurch so that the last one ends up near a charging station so that I can top up before heading home (it’s uphill and uses more charge than the trip in). I sometimes leave my journey till later in the day, waiting for my car to charge from solar. Only minor changes. ● Public transport isn’t really an option for us in a small rural town, either with local trips or off to the city. We still go to places we want, but have had to change our route sometimes to make it between fast chargers. Trips away now take a little longer, which isn’t much of a problem. More public charging stations on main highways would make things easier. ● I now prefer going to malls with free charging (Sylvia Park) or paid rapid charging (Pak n Save, Lincoln Road). Also, since I do not have an option to charge at home (apartment) or at work, I have to make extra trips to charging facilities. ● Overall I might do slightly less travelling as charging is a factor.
Adapting to change
I now live alone. My wife is in care only a short distance away. so I drive less as before I took her for drives, that were not necessary, but to pass the time. I expect it to change again, but not in the near future ● Longer trips take longer because of charging stops ● I find long train trips less tiring than driving – maybe just a case of being 75. ● The trip to New Plymouth is difficult from Auckland. I use more public transport, but, it’s more that I now have a gold card. ● My husband doesn’t drive anymore and I do all the driving therefore, as we cannot change drivers, we do long trips by bus. But I still drive to Taupo and Palmerton North from Hastings. Mostly we do local trips and go to Napier fortnightly. So an EV is ideal for our commuting needs but nice to know we can and do drive further afield from time to time. ● My habit changed with the move to EV. ● Daily pattern remains the same. ● Correlation is not causality. Less mobility etc due to aging and increasing disability.
Cheap and cheerful
Because running our Leaf is so cheap, we don’t hesitate to do any trip in the car. I am more aware of how I travel now that I have an EV. I try to avoid using the ICE car, cycle if possible. But less concerned about taking multiple small trips in the EV, used to be against popping out to the shops knowing that the short trips in the ICE car are the worse bit for wear and emissions ● We don’t think twice about nipping in to town for errands, with minimal guilt! ● Ashamed to say that I do the short 2km trip to school more often now to drop off and pick up the kids. Justify it to myself by the fact that it is a zero emission vehicle, whereas when we had just the ICV I would have made them walk. Maybe I’m just getting soft in my old age. ● I bike for fitness and fun ● My husband has a petrol car and we try as much as practicable to use the EV for local trips when we are out together. Before we would usually go in his car. We both drive the EV ● I’m more likely to take my son directly to football, and without grumbling about his inability to arrange a lift or carpooling. ● I do more unnecessary driving ● It probably looks weird that I do more long trips and kilometres and travel to new places now than before I owned an EV, because anyone would most likely expect the exact opposite, due to range anxiety and lack of charging infrastructure. However, there’s a very simple reason for that – it’s a lot more fun to drive an EV than an ICE, I don’t have to feel bad anymore about driving around for fun, and I enjoy the small challenge to plan my longer trips in a way that I combine charging stops with lunch and tea breaks, short walks or shopping. It just feels like a much more enlightened way to travel. ● We live 20km from our local town and as our electric car is so cheap to run we do not think twice about making a trip to town. ● I tend to use the car more often for local trips since it is cheap to run whereas before I’d plan more carefully ● I do more short trips around town [than previously]. I use EV for traveling to work 105 kms round trip ● Local travel bit more km as always have charge in the car in the morning and don’t look at nearly empty fuel gauge in ICV and worry about cost to fill up. ● I make more short trips than before. ● In addition to using the EV instead of the ICEV wherever possible, we now sometimes make extra trips to town – before we used to try to optimise everything to minimize driving.
Sharing the love
We like to show others that long distances are possible with an EV (e.g. Nelson to Invercargill) so we’ve done some LONG trips. ● We also offer our car for ride sharing on field trips, etc, to give others the experience of riding in an ev. ● In Golden Bay carpooling is common. If I can offer a ride with a smaller carbon footprint than other then I offer my vehicle for the car pool – hence slightly greater distances travelled overall. ● The other interesting thing about my EV is that I have a very different attitude about this car. I want the EV to be a communal car for the family living here. Everyone is free to use the EV when I don’t need it. Limiting carbon is the aim so sharing the EV rather than other family members driving their hybrid or petrol cars makes environmental sense. ● In the tourist season I’m going to drive around our tourist-trap district, picking up hitchhikers and getting them a bit closer to their destinations.
Keen on green
Weather permitting (Wellington?) I try and ride my electric bike as much as possible. I use EV if can’t use bike. ● Never use public transport or rentals. ● My location and lifestyle has changed. I can cycle to town therefore I do and I avoid some longer trips due to the need to use petrol. ● I find myself planning my trips more carefully when using my EV so as not to waste km. This has extended to when I use my ICV through force of habit. ● I felt guilty driving ICEVs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane during recent trip to Australia but there didn’t seem to be any viable EV option. ● I have ordered a 2018 Leaf and look forward to selling my ICE. ● I am less likely to use ICE vehicles (e.g. taxis etc) and will look for alternatives.
Computing the commuting
A big advantage to me in driving an EV (aside from the obvious reasons ie, environmental impacts and savings in fuel costs) is being able to drive in the EV priority lanes on the motorway onramps. This can sometimes save me about 10 – 15mins in the mornings. ● The EV is used by my wife to commute to work I only use it in the weekend. ● Our EV became our main commuter car, but unexpectedly, it also became the car we take away on holiday. ● I use the Leaf most of the time now rather than my hybrid Prius. The Leaf allows me to use the T2 lanes which reduces my travel time considerably. It is fully charged each morning and there are plenty of free fast chargers on my route. ● We use our EV to replace our petrol car for our commute to and from work, so it hasn’t changed our patterns but hopefully has decreased our footprint on the Earth. ● We use the EV as a short range commute vehicle. The petrol vehicle we sold before we purchased the EV had exactly the same use. ● My main motivation for buying an EV was for commuting purposes (>95% of my driving) and my work and home locations have not changed. ● I use it as a commute car to get to work and home. We have a second ICE car for all our other long trips and our family of 6. ● While I have changed some habits (looking at gas prices) my commute to work does not have other options with the exception of carpooling. ● I commute 20km to work each day, have done for years. Now I do the commute under electricity, not petrol, but the commute itself hasn’t changed. ● Well we still have another vehicle which is a diesel, so we use this for longer trips. Mostly we use our EV for commuting to work, which hasn’t changed since we bought, except that now we feel better about driving. Public transport is not so much of an option for getting to work where we live unless we had a lot more time to spare. ● I use my car mostly for commuting to work. There are two routes I can take, one is less distance but more time and the other more distance and less time (the choices you get in Auckland traffic). With the cost of petrol no longer an issue I can now choose the more distance/less time option as the cost difference is not the issue it was. ● The trips we take have not really changed – the EV is first and foremost my daily commuting vehicle – but I no longer have the hassles of weekly stops at the petrol station. Sometimes it is necessary to stop for a quick charge, true, but overall much time is saved.
Not for me
I’m not really interested in this data.
Own EV, hire ICE
Purchased to replace ICE for day to day city runs (work, children school, sports, weekend). Will hire car for long distance out of town travel eg 1000+ km round trip to visit grandparents. Happy doing our bit, but Govt needs to ensure EV are not taxed for others’ waste, also ensure power process are not hiked up (evidence that power company want to spend on infrastructure so they can hike up prices – at recent power conference someone came forward and said infrastructure is fine). ● I have essentially replaced the routine ICE trips with my EV which is the vast majority of km I drive. The old ICE is used as a backup car when the primary car (EV) is in use. I have done two 600km trips without the family out of curiosity but I think for long family trips I would either use the ICE car with its bigger boot space or hire a car. ● Basically owning the EV has displaced nearly all local travel of two ICE vehicles. We still have both, as both of us have to travel beyond the range of our gen 1 Leaf, sometimes simultaneously. 15,000km/year that would have been done by either of these is now the Leaf. I am debating whether to sell my car and just hire a car when I need it, and my partner is going to get a hybrid as his next car, next year. But the EV is used as much as possible, so as a second car is doing more kms than the previous ICE.
I drive my EV exactly the same as I drove my old ICE car. ● I bought a car that could meet 99% of my needs. ● Has a great range, no need to change my habits, also have the luxury of a second vehicle for towing a trailer/boat ● My EV has been a perfect drop-in replacement for 100% of my normal Monday-Friday travel. It also covers about 90% of my weekend travel. And for longer trips (eg 80km+), I would have used by wife’s ICE car previously anyway; I still do that now. ● It’s a fleet car. Business is business regardless of type of car. ● Driving an electric car is the same as a petrol car, except I don’t have to worry about maintenance so much anymore, I can accelerate more easily to join traffic, and, with a bit of planning, I can go anywhere I want. ● I made sure the car could physically go to all the places I go in my day to day traveling. This included trips to Tairua. Stopping for a charge was always a given but as long as it was possible the savings still warranted buying pure electric. ● My EV does everything my old ICE did, there’s no reason to change my mobility patterns. ● I travel 30,000+km per year in our Leaf, mostly taking kids to school, and doing general runs into the city and back (often twice a day from Tai Tapu). Owning an EV hadn’t changed our pattern of travel, as we have another vehicle for the longer journeys, other than not stopping a petrol stations and feeling like I have been mugged. ● The EV simply replaces the petrol car. ● I just do the usual ● My usage has not changed, only the vehicle, so I still got the same places, at the same time. However, there is less noise, less pollution and less cost in my EV. ● Haven’t changed how I use a vehicle but costs a fraction to run. ● We bought the vehicle because we live 30kms from a city and 25kms from an airport. We need to access both the city and the airport often. We purchased this vehicle to reduce our emissions and so we could use some of the electricity we generate at our home. it is also nice to drive.
EV for nearly everything; ICE for big jobs
I guess the main reason is we are a two-car family and choose the most suitable vehicle for the trip we want to do. e.g if we need to tow a trailer or need to go a long distance in a hurry then we use our Kia Sportage. Our first preference is to use the EV whenever possible. ● Mainly local use except occasional trips up to 250km ● 90% of my annual km travelled is within Auckland City boundaries and an EV is perfect. Out of town excursions require more planning but still possible, with our ICE second vehicle only used once in the past 12 months when I forgot to charge the EV. ● We have two cars, a Leaf, and a petrol car, so we choose whichever is most appropriate for a particular journey.
Nothing has changed
I don’t travel more, I don’t travel less, I don’t travel much differently at all. My EV lets me travel just as I did before. ● We purchased our Leaf to replace our Audi A4 which we used for our town driving. We still have a Pajero that we use for long more infrequent trips. Given that we have not changed how we move around much, we just go to the service station a whole lot less. ● Recently, most of our driving has been around the Greater Wellington area, so range isn’t an issue.
Newcomers to EVs
Have only had the EV for 12 days. I typically do 4 – 6 km/day Sun – Fri, so at this point, there are no changes to my mobility/patterns. However, I anticipate trips out of town (5 – 6/year) will change, in that I’ll need to do some fast charging here and there, and remember to factor in the time that will take, along with possibly slower driving speeds. All good for now though, enjoying the car immensely! 🙂 ● I’ve only had the car for two weeks, and I’ve been huddled because of the cold 😉 But I would have been with the old ICE car anyway, so I doubt that the change would have made me less mobile. It’s something only time will reveal. ● We’ve only had the EV for a month. ● We’ve only had our EV for about 7 weeks. So far, owning an EV makes us feel that it’s OK to use a car more often (for short trips), but our behaviour is likely to change more given more time. ● Have only had our EV for ten days. ● There are certainly changes in my car use, but that is likely to be just as much a reflection of my retiring than of buying a PHEV. On the other hand buying a PHEV was partly in recognition that I was going to want to travel more. So the two have gone hand in hand ● Only had an EV for a week.
What should we ask the members next?
Please suggest questions to ask of your fellow EV owners in future 1-click surveys – email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Myall, Henrik Moller, Hannah Gentle, Rebecca Hayter, Megan Reynolds and Dima Ivanov
23 June 2018