We’ve got a bit behind on our regular schedule – there’s too much going down to keep up with everyone’s requests – so this update for October is a week late and we’ve decided to skip the 1-click survey this month. Here’s some of what’s gone down.
Hats off to ChargeNet NZ!
Several Flip the Fleet participants attended the Hare & The Turtle event in Cromwell in September. ChargeNet NZ has just refunded the cost of rapid charging for them to get there and make it such a success. They also funded Sean Ogden to bring the Tesla X down to drag off the Highlands’ Ferrari (3 nil to Tesla!). All up then, ChargeNet NZ supported the event to the tune of around $8,000. Aren’t they the best?!
EV charging patterns
There is interest in what impact EVs will have on the electrical grid in NZ. Vasily Levshin has developed a smart EV black box (https://flipthefleet.org/ev-black-box/) that, amongst numerous other things, can tell us exactly when a car is charging and how much power it is taking. Over the next few months, researchers at the Centre for Sustainability from the University of Otago (https://www.otago.ac.nz/centre-sustainability/index.html) will be analysing anonymised charging data collected from these EV black boxes to understand how people charge their EVs. As examples of what charging patterns can look like, in Figure 1 we show the charging patterns of Daniel, Dima, and Henrik. A big thanks to EECA and PSP for funding the rollout of these devices so we can collect this data.
Figure 1: This graph show when in the day Henrik, Dima, and Daniel charge their battery. The heavy black line is the average. Gathering this data from a lot of people using our EV black boxes will help estimation of the impact of the national EV fleet on the electricity grid.
Don’t be alarmed if your Leaf’s battery State of Health fluctuates
We commonly get people asking if they should be concerned about the State of Health (SoH) of the battery in their Leaf or eNV200 dropping by several percent just after they have purchased it. So we now have a blog post (see https://flipthefleet.org/2018/dont-be-alarmed-if-your-state-of-health-fluctuates/) and informal graphic illustrating what is often the cause of this:
Figure 2: Battery State of Health (SoH) as a function of odometer. There is large variation in SoH, especially with sequential fast charging. Even when only slow charging there is still variation on the order of 1-2%.
1-click survey results
Our September 1-click survey suggests that if you can just get the customer to take a test drive, the EV is very likely to sell itself. We asked you what information was the most important for making their own decision to go electric. Almost a third (27%) were most persuaded to buy an EV by taking one for a drive. A hands-on experience of the quiet, smooth and peppy ride is often the clincher. So, Better NZ Trust and all those of you out there giving people drives at their events … take a bow! As well as test drives, word of mouth was a key influence – many buyers (19%) put their trust in the testimony of people like friends and family, or other EV owners before they switched. This is mainly where Flip the Fleet is trying to help most – to collect your experiences together and make those personal advocacy discussions more trusted for those that like numbers to back-up the feel-good experience of owning an EV. Some potential purchasers put in hours of research and relied most heavily on media (20%) or websites (15%) to check out EVs. Women are most persuaded by test drives, and younger purchasers rely more on websites and social media. There is no doubt that a lack of reliable information is holding back EV uptake in New Zealand. Only 13% of New Zealanders say they are familiar with EVs according to market research by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). You can read our full discussion of the results at https://flipthefleet.org/2018/what-information-most-helps-people-to-decide-to-buy-an-ev-1-click-survey-23/.
Daniel, Henrik, Dima