Myth Busting Time: Electric Cars Do Indeed Work As Primary Cars

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Pulling more fun charts from a recent UK study (h/t Herman Trabish) as well as a chart from our recent EV owner & lessee survey, I wanted to spend a few minutes busting the myth that “electric cars don’t work as primary cars” — and the even more ridiculous one, that you can’t get by owning/leasing only an electric car. The latter point is so ridiculous (especially to someone who has lived car-free for 11+ years) that I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it, but the first chart below is from our survey, which showed that about 21% (192) of the 920 respondents had only one car… meaning they had only an electric car.

EV Primary Car 3

Moving on to the issue of an EV being a “primary car” or not, one big issue here is subjectivity of language — what is a “primary car,” exactly? I’ll leave that to you to decide or discuss, but I’m taking it to mean the car you drive the most. As you may remember, a Consumer Reports dude who loves the Tesla Model S and led the crew that ranked the Tesla Model S P85D the best car it had ever tested commented in an interview that the car didn’t work as a “primary car.” Ridiculous. Shocking. Completely untrue.

When looking at the results below, remember that the Model S has far more range than most EVs, and can use the convenient and widely spread Tesla Supercharger network.

EV Primary Car 2

In this simple chart, you can see that a whopping 82% of surveyed British EV owners/lessees who have more than one car use their EV as their main car. I would consider a “main car” to be a “primary car.” Anyway, though, these cars are not tag-alongs that sit in the garage half the time. These cars are the cars their owners are primarily driving.

EV Primary Car 1

We see a very similar story in Norway. 81% of EV households in Norway with multiple cars use their electric cars every day. Only 6% of those households use a gasoline- or diesel-powered car every day. If you add up everyday usage and usage 3–5 days a week, you get 97% for the EVs and 21% for the gasmobiles. Um, case closed.

By the way, here’s a reminder: If you haven’t answered our quick 7-question EV survey yet, please do so! You can also still complete our longer EV owner/lessee survey or wannabe EV owner/lessee survey.

 

Zachary Shahan

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.