Incentives Listed As Most Important Factor For Buying An EV In California + So Much More Data

JUN 26 2014 BY JAY COLE 15

Why Californians Bought An EV

Why Californians Bought An EV

A new online resource for electric vehicle buying demographics in California from ARB and the California Center for Sustainable Energy gives us the best look at who…and why people buy plug-in EVs.

Gots To Have Those Stickers!

Gots To Have Those Stickers!

The survey results were collected from October 2013 and cover California PEV drivers who have owned those vehicles from August 2012.

Pretty much any statistic surrounding the EV industry is there – average age of a plug-in buyer, male/female, income, etc.

We’ll pass along all the charts (below), but first highlight some ‘points of interest’ that caught our eye:

  • 78% of respondent are male ( of 8,124 total surveys completed)
  • 62% of plug-in owners utilize a special PEV electricity rate program
  • 16% of owners also have a solar photovoltaic (PV) system of some kind
  • 13% more are thinking of installing a solar system
  • 11% found their point of purchase dealership to be “very knowledgeable”
  • 47% of EV owners make $100,000-$200,000 per year
  • just 1 in 4 make less than 6 figures

Biggest reason for choosing a plug-in vehicle?

  1. 37% – Saving money on fuel costs
  2. 21% – Environment
  3. 15% – HOV lane access

As for important factors in choosing to buy an EV, incentives lead the way by a large margin, with 75% focusing in on the federal and state credit.

Federal And State Incentives Play The Largest Role In EV Buying Decisions

Federal And State Incentives Still Play The Largest Role In EV Buying Decisions

The CCSE themselves also threw out some statistics on EV adoption in the state:

“California now leads the nation in putting the cleanest cars on the road. Currently, more than 40 percent of the cleanest vehicles in the world are on the roads in California, even though the state constitutes about 10 percent of the national market for cars.

Between March 2010 when the rebate program began and March 2014, the most recent month for which data was available, roughly 191,000 PEVs were sold in the U.S., with more than 83,000 of those in California. A clear majority — roughly 70 percent of California PEV drivers —have taken advantage of the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). “

Popular "Information" Channels

Popular “Information” Channels

Dealership Statistics - Unsurprisingly Not So Hot

Dealership Statistics – Unsurprisingly Not So Hot

You can check out the whole EV buying dashboard here.

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15 Comments on "Incentives Listed As Most Important Factor For Buying An EV In California + So Much More Data"

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ModernMarvelFan

And HOV stickers are still up there for the reason to buy the Prius Plugin…

Unplugged

Green stickers used by plug-in hybrids are no longer available. The legislature may increase the number, but that is still pending.

kdawg

What I found interesting was, out of the respondents:

Chevy Volt
975 Purchased
1023 Leased

Nissan Leaf
232 Purchased
1426 Leased

So basically everyone is leasing the Leafs. Volts are more 50/50.

kdawg

Oh and the PiPs
585 Purchased
231 Leased

So leaning even more so toward purchasing.

QCO

That appears to be reflection of battery longevity fears.

The more dependent the car is on the battery, the more likely people are to lease it to avoid potential future battery issues or replacement costs.

Unplugged

Actually, battery longevity fears are most likely a minor incentive for leasing. The reason there are so many leases is that the Leaf has (had) some very nice lease deals that reflected the $7500 fed tax credit.

Taser54

So essentially, there will be a Tsunami of off-lease Leafs hitting the car lots soon. This will, of course, harm the residual calculation for future leases (as questions about the battery pack will leave many of these languishing on the lot).

ModernMarvelFan

BEV tends to be more leased due to low advertised leasing rate and PHEV tends to be more purchased due to higher leasing rate and potentially longivity of “Usable range (gas + electric)”.

This is somewhat a reflection of range anxiety and uncertainy in technology development.

People don’t want to commit to a BEV when we all know that in 7-8 years, something cheaper, better and longer range will show up and make the older version obsolete.

Ed

I bought my LEAF rather than leasing it. I didn’t even consider the battery. I knew that when better batteries become available I could replace my battery with the new battery technology. They’re modular. And sure enough Nissan recently announced I can have a new chemistry 2015 LEAF battery installed in my 2011 LEAF for $5500 plus labor. I don’t need it yet but its good to know its available. I suspect when I do need a battery in another five or so years that the new battery will provide ~125miles of range and cost <$4,000. Better than new!

Just_chris

So more people trust the internet and manufacturers web pages than their only family and friends…….

Eric Cote

Jay, very cool to see you penning a lot of articles recently!

Jay Cole

Thanks Eric, as the site grows it is harder and harder to do what I really love…write. But have to make time, (=

Probably only get the chance to put out 25-30 odd stories in a month now.

Bonaire

I do see the biggest bubble is saving money on fuel. I have to wonder what kind of cars the buyers traded from. Monster truck to Volt? Prius ICE to Leaf? I would like to see the “mpg delta”. For me, I went from a Mazda 6 at 25mpg over to a Volt and am at 84.4 mpg lifetime.

Taser54

What is your payback period?

Carl

I can’t speak for Bonaire, but in my case, I traded in a Ford Escape Hybrid for a CMAX Energi.

Payback period was 0 days… meaning that the CMAX Energi cost the same as an equivalently optioned New Ford Escape SEL. Of course, the CMAX included a $4k fed tax credit, and the $1500 CRB credit– which is why it cost the same amount as a Ford Escape.

I am saving about $1200 year on gas (Use about 6 gal/month driving 900 mi/month on average), and electric bill went down due to the switch to variable rate electricity plan.

Do the research and be wary of claims of long payback periods. If you dig into the details, you will find that they are comparing a high-end trim level PHEV to a low end trim level of car, and then lumping the cost increases of extra options (Nav systems, etc.) into the payback analysis.

But I say if you can break even in 6-8 years for a car loaded with options vs a stripped down model, then that is a good deal.