EV Driver Survey Report 2023: key takeaways

The electric vehicle (EV) market has witnessed significant growth and transformation in recent years, with increasing numbers of consumers embracing this sustainable mode of transportation. The findings from the EV Driver Survey provide valuable insights into the evolving trends and perceptions surrounding EV adoption. This article highlights key takeaways from the survey, including the rapid influx of new EV drivers, the emergence of range confidence, challenges in the charging ecosystem, the unique characteristics of business drivers, and the alignment of EV ownership with sustainable lifestyle choices.
Newcomers to the EV Market: The report reveals that a substantial percentage of respondents (42%) purchased their EV within approximately a year of the survey, demonstrating the accelerated rate of consumer adoption. Moreover, over 67% of respondents acquired their EVs within the last two years, indicating the relatively recent entry of most consumers into the EV market. This influx of new drivers is a testament to the growing appeal and accessibility of electric vehicles.

Dominance of the New EV Market: The study indicates that the growth in the EV market has been primarily driven by new vehicle sales. According to the research, 87% of current EV drivers bought their vehicles in new condition, which is significantly higher than the equivalent figure for all vehicles in Europe (27%). This finding suggests that a lack of supply in the second-hand EV market is currently hindering its growth. However, with the increasing number of EVs on the roads, the report anticipates a rise in the used vehicle market in the near future, which could contribute to broader EV adoption.

Shifting Perceptions of Purchase Costs: Interestingly, the survey reveals a shift in consumer perceptions regarding purchase costs as a barrier to EV adoption. While 32% of respondents still consider purchase cost as an important factor, it ranks lower than in previous years. The availability of lower-priced EV models in the market likely contributes to this trend. The data suggests that as consumers become more aware of affordable options, the perceived barrier of high purchase costs diminishes.

Emerging Range Confidence: Addressing the long-standing concern of range anxiety, the report highlights an emerging sense of range confidence among EV drivers. Real-world experience contradicts the perception that EVs lack sufficient battery range to cover typical journeys. For example, the average length of a car trip in the UK is 8.4 miles per trip, well within the range capabilities of most electric cars. The expansion of charging infrastructure, including fast-charging networks, further alleviates concerns about longer trips. As a result, the proportion of respondents citing range anxiety as a top-three issue decreased from 60% in 2022 to 50% in the latest survey.

Streamlining the Charging Experience: While range anxiety diminishes, the survey highlights the challenges associated with the charging ecosystem. Multiple charging service providers and applications, each requiring separate cards or apps, create complexity for EV drivers. However, there is a positive trend toward reducing the number of cards owned, indicating a gradual improvement in the integration of charging services. The report emphasizes the need for collaboration among stakeholders to create a seamless and personalized charging experience for customers, ultimately leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

Distinct Characteristics of Business Drivers: The survey underscores the unique charging behaviors of business drivers, emphasizing the importance of considering them as a distinct sub-segment of the EV market. The study reveals that a significant percentage of business drivers receive employer-provided charge cards, indicating the potential for partnerships between mobility service providers and employers to enhance charging accessibility. Maturing the EV ecosystem to enable operation of EMSPs (Electric Mobility Service Providers) and developing propositions targeted specifically at business drivers can further promote EV adoption.

EV Ownership and Sustainable Lifestyles: A noteworthy finding from the survey is the correlation between EV ownership and broader environmentally consciouslifestyle choices. The data suggests that EV drivers tend to make other sustainable decisions, such as opting for 100% renewable energy tariffs for their homes. This alignment between EV ownership and low-carbon lifestyle commitments highlights the holistic approach that many EV drivers take towards reducing their environmental impact. It also emphasizes the potential for EV adoption to contribute to broader sustainability goals and initiatives.

Source: EV Driver Survey Report 2023 | Shell Recharge research

An infographic summarizing key findings on EV drivers. It shows six statistics: 47% of EV drivers didn't need to charge weekly, 47% don't charge every day, 49% would pay more for more charging locations, 50% of business drivers get charging cards, 46% have solar panels, 44% lack home charging, and 57% prefer places with charging options. Icons accompany each statistic.
Source: EV Driver Survey Report 2023 | Shell Recharge research
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