EV Owners Are Happy Campers. 85% Are Glad They Switched


A new survey of 850 EV owners in Europe and North America finds 85% are happy they switched from internal combustion to electric power. What they are not happy with is the confusing welter of public charging options and the method for paying to use them. The sponsor of the survey, EV Box, calls for standardized charging protocols and an end to proprietary payment methods. “Inter-operability” is the key to public acceptance of electric cars, it says.

EV owners survey

The survey is one result of the e-mobility manifesto that resulted from rEVolution 2017, an annual gathering for e-mobility leaders that brought 240 industry leaders together s on the 14th of March in Amsterdam. The e-mobility manifesto was created by a group of 12 people who are in leadership positions at EV Box, ENGIE, EVConsult, Renault, Jaguar Land-Rover, E-Laad, The Municipality of Amsterdam, Urban Foresight, and Fastned, all of whom shared their vision on the future of e-mobility and what drivers, businesses, associations, and government can do to increase adoption of electric cars as well as improve the experience for the user.

In order for the EV industry to more forward and achieve mainstream status, several things have to happen, the group concluded.

  • For the general e-mobility stakeholders: To cooperate and implement inter-operability between different countries and EV charging providers.
  • For charging providers and operators: To enable direct and mobile payments. Drivers should be able to pay for any charging session with any method, hassle-free.
  • For  public charging facilities: To empower and support the expected rise of electric vehicle adoption by installing smart charging infrastructure at their parking sites.
  • For automotive manufacturers: Create new services that allow drivers to charge their car in an easier way, and begin producing new batteries that can be charged faster.
  • For governments: To assist the charging providers in standardizing their services and products by implementing more public charging stations, and create or continue financial incentives to motivate their citizens to acquire an electric vehicle.

The most notable findings of the survey are:

  • 51% of electric drivers say that contributing to a sustainable future is the main reason to purchase an electric car.
  • 55% of electric drivers are unhappy with the current availability of charging points
  • 47% of electric drivers want to have online connectivity on their home charging station to track and bill their charging sessions
  • 42% of electric drivers say that the main incentive to buy a charging station is to charge faster
  • 55% of electric drivers have never used a public fast (DC) charging station
  • 56% of all electric drivers rank retail areas as the top location to add charging facilities

Of the EV owners who responded to the survey, 91% were male. 58% were over 45 years old.  The respondents come from The Netherlands (40%), United States (35%), and 32 other European and North American countries, including United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, and Germany.

Source: EV Box

About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • WebUserAtLarge

    I think this report is missing a key statistic to properly assess the 85% claim. What is the breakdown of “are happy they switched” by the actual EV model. EV Box had drawn their stats from “25 full-electric cars and 35 plug-in hybrid models” ( if I read their website correctly ). I think this would make the analyses too watered down by cars that are barely electric. In a sample this small ( 850 ) the results could be very easily distorted by the owners of one or two (or more ) of the poorly performing models. I think the rate should be higher.
    I would like to see a statistically meaningful poll of the pure EV owners, say after at least 1 year of ownership. IMHO.

    • BigWu

      The Consumer Reports ownership satisfaction survey (“which included over 300,000 vehicles” -CR) ranked Tesla at #1 with 91% satisfaction. While that doesn’t answer the “glad they switched” question directly, it does indicate there’s likely a model or two from different manufacturer(s) that have disappointed owners. Which are they and why?

      • That’s pretty low considering charging is free. I hear Tezla has suspension problems.

  • BigWu

    Re charging payment: the current systems in the US, with the notable exception of Tesla, are infuriating. I have yet to see a charging station that allows for direct payment via credit card.

    Each vendor requires you to either sign up and wait for their brand-specific card in the post or call and provide all your identity info to a complete stranger while standing in a noisy petrol-fumigated car park (presuming you have a mobile signal, which is unlikely in central city subterranean garages).

    Fixing the payment scheme should be the top priority.

    On the plus side: garages that offer “free”charging for the paid duration of your stay (free as in no additional charge on top of the parking rate).

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    The aims of this organisation could destroy Tesla, maybe that is their intention. Tesla has single-handedly created a world wide network of reliable fast chargers and they are to throw that open to all crowding out those who payed for it through the purchase price of their Tesla cars from getting access the others contributed nothing towards. The protocols are not secret and Tesla has always said it will partner with anyone prepared to pay their share but no other manufacturer has offered to put up these charge stations or chip in for the cost of the network that has been established by Tesla. These people are evil with an agenda to destroy Tesla and with it the EV revolution they have spearheaded.

  • Good article. Charging convenience should extend to access courtesy. The owner should get an​SMS 5mins before the end of charging period and charged for parking if not disconnected in 15mins.

  • Jim Smith

    My 2017 Volt is easily the best car i have ever owned. I had a 2007 G35x before this. Sure the Volt is no match performance wise, but the silent, smooth power train and vast majority of time emissions free driving are awesome. Anytime i am in a gas car, it is amazing how loud they are. And leaving the house every day with a “full tank” is awesome. I hate stinky gas stations more than ever now.

  • bioburner

    “Open Access”—being able to pay with a simple credit car is vital to public charging. We switch to electric in 2012. Can’t be happier. The smooth quiet drive in our 2016 Volt is impressive. So I guess I would be in the 85% group.