for immediate release
Take a test drive, wear the EV grin
If you’re sitting on the fence about buying an electric vehicle (EV), take a test drive. A hands-on experience is one of the main things that persuade owners to buy their first EV, according to a recent survey by Flip the Fleet, a nationwide EV owners collective.
Almost a third (27%) of 343 survey participants were most persuaded to buy an EV by taking one for a drive.
“That doesn’t surprise me,” said Margaret Baker, a Kaipara EV advocate who drove New Zealand’s first 100% electric taxi in Whangarei for almost two years. She’s also given EV rides and drives to curious members of the public at community events around the country.
“Everyone I’ve seen take a ride or test drive comes back wearing the EV grin. They are surprised by the smooth, quiet, comfortable ride and the power these cars have – even the small ones.”
The survey suggested that buying a car is a complex and personal process. As well as test drives, word of mouth was a key influence. Nineteen percent of buyers put their trust in the testimony of people like friends and family, or other EV owners before they switched.
Other respondents put in hours of research and relied most heavily on media (20%) or websites (15%) to check out the new technology.
Only 13% of New Zealanders say they are familiar with EVs according to market research by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
“That’s not unique to New Zealand – people’s understanding in other countries still has a long way to go,” says Henrik Moller of Flip the Fleet. A UK survey found 42% of Brits weren’t sure if you could put an EV through a car wash. “You can,” says Moller, “just like you can charge them outside in all weather conditions with the appropriate equipment.”
These are his top three ways to get up to speed on EVs:
- Go to an event where EV owners have their cars available for rides and drives – you’ll get the hands-on experience plus the owner’s insights. See www.leadingthecharge.org.nz
- Download EECA’s Buyer’s Guide to Electric Vehicles for an overview of EVs, their benefits and potential pitfalls. See www.eeca.govt.nz/evbuyersguide
- Visit an EV specialist dealership – fully trained salespeople can be a font of technical and practical knowledge.
Flip the Fleet is a citizen science project that provides scientifically reliable information on the benefits and constraints of electric vehicles in New Zealand. The project is partly funded by the government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
Participation is free and all New Zealand’s electric vehicle owners can enrol at www.flipthefleet.org.
Many direct and colourful quotes of the participants in the survey described in this media release can be extracted from https://flipthefleet.org/2018/what-information-most-helps-people-to-decide-to-buy-an-ev-1-click-survey-23/
Contacts for more statements:
Margaret Baker; Flip the Fleet spokesperson – 021528250 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Henrik Moller, Prof Emeritus, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago; and cofounder of Flip the Fleet – 027 2268 688 – email@example.com
Dima Ivanov, PowerStats Ltd.; and cofounder of Flip the Fleet – 021 927 346 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Senior Communications Advisor, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority – 027 403 3378 – Kathryn.Fitzpatrick@eeca.govt.nz
Photos of the Flip the Fleet spokespeople are available from: https://flipthefleet.org/resources/team-photos/