Ford EV Owner Survey: 83% Considering Solar, More Than 90% Would Buy An EV Again

AUG 4 2015 BY JAY COLE 37

Ford Gives Some Insight Into Today's Plug-In Owner

Ford Gives Some Insight Into Today’s Plug-In Owner

Ford has polled 10,000-odd plug-in drivers (with a little help from PlugInsights – a data gathering service from the guys that brought PlugShare to market) to highlight and better understand today’s EV owner.

Ford Takes The Pulse Of The EV Nation

Ford Takes The Pulse Of The EV Nation

Here are some of the highlights that a Ford spokesperson says indicates EV owners love their vehicles “and the smart phone applications that help keep in the touch with them”:

* – Renewable Energy: 83 percent of EV drivers will consider or have already installed adding solar panels to charge their vehicles at home for an emission-free driving experience that also saves them money

* – Future EVs: 92 percent of battery electric and 94 percent of PHEV drivers plan to purchase another EV in the future.

* – Smart phones are the most commonly used platform for EV owners, as they use apps to check the battery’s charge, start climate control functions, and review charge statuses. ◦The most requested smart phone features include vehicle health alerts, public charging station locator, charging time indicators, and reserving and paying for charging functions.

* – Home charging: Almost half of PHEV drivers and more than ¼ of battery electric drivers use conventional outlets (120/110v) at home. 88% of EV drivers want a fast charger in the home.

For us, the most interesting (and conflicting) result of the survey is that the vast majority of PHEV owners today are mostly still utilizing the traditional 110v plug, but also want faster charging at the same time.

Perhaps this is either a call for more inexpensive L2 charging options, or the desire/anticipation to have a larger battery/all-electric range in their next PHEV purchase.

Categories: Ford


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37 Comments on "Ford EV Owner Survey: 83% Considering Solar, More Than 90% Would Buy An EV Again"

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Hopefully these results encourage Ford to invest in a software deveopment team with better technical chops for the next version of MyFordMobile. The original version the FocuS Electric used was well written. They merged the app with the version used for the Energi, which is the most buggy, poorly performing EV connectivity app I have ever seen.

Wonder what happened to the 6-8% who indicated they won’t buy another EV.

My guess is that either they thought that the range was longer than it was or that they just don’t have the means to charge it at home.

Ambiguity in the question? Perhaps some interpreted “another EV” as in, another model than what they have now.

Or maybe some were elderly, and knew they wouldn’t be buying another car in the future.

Or, maybe- just maybe- some people didn’t like the fact that the best selling EV manufacturer lied about range and lied about battery capacity degradation (ahem, Nissan, ahem) so much that it put a bad taste in their mouth for all EV products.

And then there’s the few that thought the car would automatically regenerate electricity via perpetual motion. A good 6% of the random strangers that I bump into who have interest in the car actually believe that it powers itself as it drives (not just regenerative braking).

I’ve come to the conclusion that many humans are just stupid.

Large scale surveying never reaches 100.00%, because ‘there’s one in every crowd.’ If the question were “are you lying” a few percent would check it, because that’s _so_ funny. And of course some people honestly fat-finger a response or two.

Indeed, it would be very instructive to know what their issues were. Perhaps range for people that got a Ford Focus Electric.

I’m right now actively thinking about buying a solar power system for a steel garage building. The idea is that if the solar panels can produce $200 to $300 dollars in power that would really help out.

As for the emission rules on coal a lot of these power companies should have been preparing for it. In that it was not like it came out of the blue.

Indeed, a smart company would have started exploring diversified sources ages ago. Like the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.

I guess they’d rather spend their shareholders money on lobbyists.

That’s the absolute truth. Same with auto companies and emissions/efficiency regulations. It’s no surprise, and all the lobbying in the world won’t stop the trend – they are truly idiots if they don’t realize that.

The smart company would get ahead of the curve and stay ahead – but that simple business acumen is lost on entrenched industries like utilities and automakers.

“For us, the most interesting (and conflicting) result of the survey is that the vast majority of PHEV owners today are mostly still utilizing the traditional 110v plug, but also want faster charging at the same time.”

Want and willing-to-pay for, are 2 different things 🙂

Perhaps the level 1 charging meets their current needs for charging at home but they would like to have the ability to charge faster at public chargers. The 3.3kW charger on my Spark is fine for charging at home but is too slow to do much charging on the road.

The statistic was in regards to home charging.

“88% of EV drivers want a fast charger in the home.”

As you say, and people apparently don’t realize unless you own an eV,

1). People may WANT a 220 EVSE in their home. THe fact they don’t have them is that they don’t WANT them commensurate with the installed price.

2). Most people charge at 110, and 1/4 of BEV’s charge at 110, but when out driving, reasonably large (6kw) docking stations and equipment in the car IS desired. Only makes sense people don’t care to stand around longer than necessary.

We are very lucky in the UK and the rest of Europe as we are already on 240 / 230 or 220 Volts in the home. A plug in EVSE charger brick is 10 Amps. A wall box gives us 16 Amps or 32 depending on requirements. The UK government was giving 16 Amp wall boxes away until March 2015. Now the car dealers are subsidising them heavily (end cost to customer £200 approx = $300 or so.) However those of us with 2 – 3 KW solar arrays want to charge at a slower rate during the day. Fortunately the Golf GTE I have just purchased allows charging rate to be chosen from the infotainment screen. 5, 10, 13 or 16 Amps are selectable. Zero emissions motoring for me most of the time.

Its rather quaint how terminology differs ‘across the pond’, not just in electric cars but many other things.. We don’t call them ‘Wall Boxes’ here, but it certainly is descriptive. Our National Fire Protection Association, writers of the National Electrical Code, is a private organisation, along with Underwriters’ Laboratories, having no enforcement power in and of themselves. However around 98% of the municipalities in the United States (and Mexico, so I’m told) use the NEC and UL as the standard for code enforcement, making them ‘defacto standards’. The problem in the states is that cord connected devices are ONLY allowed on 15 or 20 amp 110-120 volt outlets. WE, in the states, have branch circuits radiating from a centralized ‘Panelboard’ , sometimes called the service panel, and cheap ones are called LoadCenters, etc, in years past called the FuseBox, but those are getting excedingly rare since insurance companies much prefer circuit breakers, not that there is absolute justification for that in every single case. The problem with the NFPA is that the whole codes are built on fascist manufacturer collusion. This is why there was never ANYTHING in the NEC requiring proper installation of aluminum wiring or devices, until about… Read more »

Most ring circuits are 30A or 32A for newer installations. Its very straightforward to add a 16A wall box for charging but a 32A supply would need it’s own circuit back to the consumer unit. Although some garages/utility rooms will have a spare circuit already for things like washing machines that could be used.

“92 percent of battery electric and 94 percent of PHEV drivers plan to purchase another EV in the future.”

This is quite an amazing statement. I am not sure what to make of it. It is certainly not true of Nissan Leaf buyers. It seems many Leafs get returned after their lease and not replaced by EVs.

Why would Ford EV drivers be any different?

Water cooled battery, less range loss.
More power.
Much more attractive car.
Because Ford didn’t advertise it, they sat on the lot unnoticed for 90 days, when the sales manager would wake up and order it sold at a steep discount.

Perhaps a lack of corporate support “proves” a lack of customer interest.

Yep. That attitude is documented in many books about the electric car, including “Car Wars” by John Fialka.

Red headed stepchild. Funny thing is, It’s the only Ford I have even remotely considered buying in the past 30 years.

Nice car, much better in every way than the ICE versions I have rented when traveling.

I wonder what percentage would be another Ford EV, vs a competitor

There is some ambiguity in that answer. For example, I leased a Volt for three years and now I’m back with an ICE for a while. I plan to buy another EV in the “future” but that may be two to four years (Bolt or Model 3).

The re-buy stat speaks to the luxury, quiet and drive feel of an EV. Once you experience that, it is tough to go back to vibration, noise and shifting.

don’t forget that awful gas smell ! and the iritating smoke in winter. Petrolosauruses are pretty much irritating to the 5 senses. (they also taste bad, when you inhale gas fumes and it stick in the back of your throat…)

Funny, none of them want more range????

I suspect that many of us with a BEV have learned to live quite comfortably with the range. For me, more range from a bigger battery would add dead weight and cost.

Lease on my FFE is up in January, looking forward to replacing it with a new one, same color and options.

I suspect that the majority of Ford plugin owners have Energis, and their electric range pretty much sucks.
If Volt owners pressed for more range, then I find the lack of demand for it in this survey suspect.

in other news… 9 of the 10,000 EV owners actually owned a Ford!

What planet are you on? Ford sold 1700 plug-ins in July in the United States, more than any other auto manufacturer except Tesla.

I love my little FFE. I also have a Fusion Energi Titanium that my wife drives but I prefer driving the FFE because it’s all electric and, well I just feel good driving it. The FFE is arguably a better car than the Leaf, the FFE has more power and it handles better. Limited numbers, lack of fast charging capabilities and initial high sales price I think really hurt FFE sales. If Ford came out tomorrow with a new FFE model that had DC fast charging, a little more range and maybe adaptive cruise control like my Fusion has, I don’t think I could resist buying one. Of course we would also need a few SAE Combo chargers in Texas so I would have someplace to DC fast charge.

Battery intrudes into the trunk space. That’s a bummer.

The FFE actually has two batters, one that replaces the gas tank and the other that’s in the trunk space. The FFE is a hatchback and the rear seats fold out of the way nicely so there is quite a bit of cargo space. There’s also a cargo organizer behind the trunk battery that I find very useful. But Ford would have had much better EV sales if they would have built an EV from the ground up instead of trying to adapt an existing model. Just look at how well the BMW I3 has done which has similar range and is much more expensive. The BMW I3 also already has DC fast charging and active cruise control. I have threatened many times to sell my FFE and buy a BMW I3 and probably would have already done so if there were any SAE Combo DC fast charging stations in Texas.

Agreed. I’ve never felt the trunk bump was a real problem. With the back seats down, you can haul furniture.

Lack of DC fast charge is one of the only features I wish it had, and really only have occasion to use that a few times a year (it would still be worth the $1k expense over the life of the car).

The article says:

“For us, the most interesting (and conflicting) result of the survey is that the vast majority of PHEV owners today are mostly still utilizing the traditional 110v plug, but also want faster charging at the same time.

“Perhaps this is either a call for more inexpensive L2 charging options…”

I don’t know how big a factor this is, but surely part of the equation is the cost in older homes of upgrading the house wiring so that a L2 charger can be installed. In some cases, this requires not merely running a separate 220 volt circuit to the garage (or carport or post beside the driveway), but may require replacing the home’s main electrical panel. That can cost as much as several thousand dollars.

This is also an issue for renters. It may not be that difficult to persuade the landlord to install a 110v outlet in the garage or in the parking lot, but again in an older building or a small apartment building, a new 220v circuit might require a major upgrade of the building’s electrical system.

After three years in the market, I wonder why Ford has not improved the battery range for the Energi models. I did two test drives on the Fusion Hybrid and liked it very much, but the low EV range on the Fusion Energi limits my purchasing. I expect Ford to increase that range for 2016 or even 2017.

2016 is already out… minor changes, nothing on range. This is only the 3rd year of production, I wouldn’t expect a change until 2017 at the earliest.

Hey! I was one of those surveyed (small world huh), me and my Ford Fusion Energi.

31,500 miles in I’m at an AVERAGE 100.1 MPGe and roughly 92% electric running over 2.1 years of ownership.