How To Get People Into EVs

Following up on the best things about electric cars, in our 6th article pulled from Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want — a new report from CleanTechnica, EV Obsession, and GAS2 — I’m jumping into what EV drivers and enthusiasts consider to be the best ways to promote EVs and spread the EV revolution.

Responses from EV drivers (from the list of options I gave them/you) broke out like this:

  • More abundant EV charging (24.4%)
  • Test drive events (20.3%)
  • Better financial incentives (19.3%)
  • Better media coverage (17.7%)
  • Electric car rentals (6.3%)
  • Electric-only dealerships (5.3%)
  • EV access to HOV lanes, bus lanes, and toll roads (for free) (3.9%)
  • Electric carsharing (2.6%)

EV incentives drivers

Asking potential owners/lessees to rank these same things, the results broke out as follows (as you can see, a different type of ranking system was used):

  • Better financial incentives (6.68)
  • More abundant charging (6.61)
  • Test drive events (5.88)
  • Better media coverage (5.57)
  • Electric car rentals (5.18)
  • EV access to HOV lanes, bus lanes, and toll roads (for free) (4.85)
  • Electric carsharing (3.91)
  • Electric buses (3.24)
  • Electric-only dealerships (3.07)

EV incentives non drivers

As can be seen, the top three choices were the same for both groups, but in a different order. Better media coverage and electric car rentals came in fourth and fifth for both groups.

Asking the respondents about their own personal incentive preferences, the clear winner (from the options provided) was a straight $3,000 cash rebate. 37% of owners/lessees preferred this, and 44% of non-owners/lessees preferred it. Second was “free public charging,” which 27% of both groups preferred. Non-owners/lessees then heavily preferred “free home charging station (assuming you didn’t have one)” (25%) over access to HOV/bus lanes (7%) and free parking (4%). Owners/lessees slightly preferred access to HOV/bus lanes (12.4%) over a free home charging station (11.5%) but also had little interest in free parking (4%).

Top Incentives 1 Top Incentives 2

So, it seems pretty clear that straight cash incentives and more public charging stations are heavily preferred methods for stimulating greater EV adoption, as well as simply having more electric car test drive events.

Why that third option is important comes back to what was discussed earlier regarding the fun of driving EVs and their better drive quality (which is quieter and smoother than in a gasoline-powered car). Other responses from EV owner/lessees reinforce this point. When asked to rank agreement with the statement, “People who drive my EV tend to love it,” after removing the respondents who said this was not applicable to them (presumably because no one else had driven their EVs), 72.5% strongly agreed, 21.8% moderately agreed, 5% were not sure, and 0.7% moderately disagreed. There’s potential respondent bias in these responses, but I think the fact that less than 1% disagreed with such a strong statement is very telling.

love it

You can download the full “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want” report here.

Report sponsors include Cost of SolarPlugless, the Low Voltage Vehicle Electrification Event, and Pono Home.

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 and click on the relevant buttons.