81% of Electric Vehicle Charging is Done at Home

DEC 8 2013 BY STAFF 26

The initial findings from a survey of 3,247 individuals conducted by PlugInsights (full results here) show that 81 percent of electric vehicle charging occurs at home.  Of course it does.

Where Should I Charge My Volt?  At Home?  Sure, Why Not

Where Should I Charge My Volt? At Home? Sure, Why Not

Further survey findings include:

  • 7% of charging takes place at work
  • 10% of charging occurs at public charging station

The remaining 2% of charging presumably occurs at some unlisted location like, perhaps, Area 57.

These findings would seem to suggest that public and workplace charging aren’t necessary, but we know that not to be true.

At home, public and workplace charging are all essential for the growth of the EV segment.  Even if 99% of charging occurred at home, public and workplace chargers would still be useful and beneficial to the cause of increasing EV adoption.

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26 Comments on "81% of Electric Vehicle Charging is Done at Home"

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Right. My conclusion from these average findings and the experience of my fellow EV drivers is definitely not that workplace and public charging are not necessary, but that they are rather deficient.

PlugInsights could have studied whether there is a correlation between public charging availability and EV adoption.

Now that may be worth $4k-$6k.

Haha, my breath too was taken away seeing the price they demand for this survey. Someone got carried away, no?

btw, I have a solution to the “remaining 2%” mystery: it’s probably charging at friends and relatives while visiting them, or at feral 110V outlets that are not official “public charging” (like that dude who got arrested in Georgia).

It’s not that workplace and public charging are unnecessary. It’s that they’re lower priority.

It’s more important to get outlets (preferably 240V, or maybe even wireless charging pads) at places where people park their cars overnight, and for a lot of urban residents, that isn’t a garage.

This study also shows how Tesla can afford to give free charging for life.

It would also be worthwhile to know whether the lack of DC quick charge infrastructure and lack of QC support on the majority of current EVs is limiting sales.

It may be a difficult issue to survey accurately. I imagine that most people would not be able to accurately forecast their QC use until the infrastructure is in place and their useage patterns change.


What’s limiting BEV sales in America right now is very simple: production volume.

Tesla Model S is waitlisted AFAIK, or at least pretty much inventory-free.

Nissan Leaf has a ~1 month inventory, constraining local dealerships from pushing more off their specific lots.

I agree that QC proliferation could help. So could increasing ranges, but frankly: as long as affordable BEV ranges are at their current levels, the classic use case for them is a “2nd car” (really a 1st car in terms of usage frequency) in a 2-car family, or the only car of a small family/couple who don’t go too far out of town very often.

These segment are still much, much larger than the current BEV production volumes.

Over time I feel workplace charging will become more important. I would like to see more emphasis on multifamily housing (apartments, condos, townhouses) where garages are not available.

Workplace charging does a couple things:

1. Doubles the usable electric range for commuting.
2. Often one wants to run errands or go out after work and could use a top-off before leaving. Being able to leave work with a full charge would help here.
3. And as you say, can make PEV ownership possible when one does not have the ability to charge at home.

1, 2, and 3: Bingo!

I would add that it also gives employers a really nice and relatively cheap benefit for employees — “you can not only drive here with your EV, but you get free, hassle-free fuel.”

This model also applies to airports, hotels, and some other businesses. As the installed base of EVs grows, expect to see chargers pop up all over the place. Just like hydrogen fueling stations. (Just kidding.)

Work place charging ONLY works if it is NOT FREE.

Come to large work places in CA, they are full of “juice hogs” that take up FREE work charging all day. Those “hogs” don’t charge at home and use work charging as their designated charging.

This problem can be solved if they starts charging money for it at work…

Understanding that the survey was of only 3,247 EV owners, and whether workplace charging was used had along to do with it’s availability. If they surveyed employees of auto manufacturers and power companies, who are spearheading workplace charging, the workplace charging numbers would be much higher.

It could be that many who use public charging do so just so others can see them charge their car, not because they actually need more electricity before they drive home. Which does little for EV adoption, but gives the false impression to other drivers that if they buy an EV, they now have to worry about finding a charging station before they drive home. Which won’t be the case since most commuters have a round trip commute less than 40 miles daily.

The Home charging percentage should increase dramatically once EV range moves from 75 miles to 150 miles.

Then the marketing moves to ‘Your Fuel Station Is In Your Garage”.

The survey showed that 0% of charging occurs on the moon.

The two Lunokhods from the Soviet space program tend to disagree. They’ve been charging since the 1970’s… you think they are fully charged by now? 😉

They must not have been in the 3,247 surveyed.

It is recommended to read Andy Weir’s book The Martian. That book demonstrated solar charging of EV on Mars. Although, EV had also RTG as range extender.

Note, that with longer range EVs, the need of public chargers disappears mostly and it is easier to utilize off-peak electricity on charging. Tesla’s solar powered supercharging network is enough.


Until you get a Model S and drive from Seattle to San Diego and make other long distance trips. Then you realize that you *really need* that CHadeMO adapter.

135kw of solar, would mean 135,000/250 (~500+ panels) for each Tesla that pulls up, in the middle of a sunny day.

L2 and L3 chargers are both needed. No question. Things like Evnia’s recent “200 mile” mirage mean we should design for what we have.

Only charged once at a blink charger just for the hell of it, always charge at home otherwise.

With few exceptions, I’ve only charged at a public charger or at work to show others that EVs are here, and that electricity really is ubiquitous. We just need access to the grid that’s all around us.

That said, I have never used a quick charger. Not because I have no use for one, but because I have no access to one! If I had access to a robust public network of QCs, I would charge nearly 40-50% of my kWh on them. I know this because I put about 50% of my annual miles on the hybrid, even though I only really drive it every couple of months. It’s the long trips that the Leaf can’t handle, and take the most energy that I need some sort of public infrastructure (in this case, gasoline).

What a frustrating and misleading survey!

This sounds more like a measurement of the results of a incentive and offering structure aimed at those fortunate enough to own a property with parking rather than the needs or potential of the market.

In CA 40% of the population rents and cannot modify their parking or even use a home based plug to charge.

In the major cities up to 67% of the vehicle owners are renters not owners.

We can do much much better if we consider that renters need access tot he incentives, credits and savings an EV can supply.

Depends how you read the number. If everyone needed to charge in the public 1 out of 10 times..then “everybody” would still need public charging.

It would be good if policy (whether public or private) is made to encourage more home charging. Home charging most of the time is very good friendly, and can be encouraged to be VERY friendly by simply offering time-of-day metering, out of hours off peak times of load.

These superchargers, and other L3 devices are temporarily necessary to help drivers get out of a bind, but in my view should not be encouraged since they tend to be Grid Hating (drawing power at the absolute worst time. Of course, my Idea of running superchargers or L3 devices off of natural gas powered generators has no traction since it is deemed an Impure Idea. However, businesses offering L3 chargers may warm up to them if it greatly decreases the demand charges, especially if they can make use of the waste heat, such as hospitals, hotels and car washes. Hospitals have to have the capital investment for reliable emergency power anyway so they could be pressed into service for car charging the other 99.99% of the time, both being very grid friendly, and being a very efficient use of natural gas.

So whats new?

People sleep – they charge, that’s why better place was always going to be a lemon.
Super charges are the next frontier.

Public and at work charging is absolutely necessary, it reduces range anxiety with current limited range EVs. Even when it’s not used it is important. As ranges increase with improved battery technology it will become less important but then there will be more EVs so maybe not.

Most of the early adopters will have a private parking lot on their own ground, so home charging is easy for them.

I wonder if the full report details what percent of charging at home was done with green electricity sources, like solar, wind, etc. I keep seeing folks whine about “coal powered” EV’s based upon (usually distorted) national grid statistics. While at the same time I see lots of EV owners keep posting about their solar panels.

I’d love to see a poll that actually answers what percent of electricity for EV charging is offset by solar power panels and other green energy installed by EV owners. My guess is that the amount of coal actually used to charge EV’s is much lower than the national grid stats might imply.