Results From Largest Plug-In Electric Vehicle Study Ever Are In

AUG 23 2012 BY STAFF 8

If you are ever going to read one survey on electric vehicle ownership, it should probably be this one. 

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), along with CARB, has concluded the largest study of plug-in electric vehicles in history, at least as far as we can recall.   

CCSE Highlights Survey Results (click to enlarge)

The CCSE received data from 1,419 plug-in electric vehicle owners in the state of California, a state which also boasts the world’s largest concentration of EVs at over 12,000 cars sold.

“This is the largest plug-in electric vehicle owner survey ever taken in California,” said Mike Fery, CCSE Transportation Program manager. “It’s still early in the development of a robust PEV marketplace, but California is firmly established as a national and worldwide leader in supporting advanced technology, zero-emission automotive transportation.”

The link to the full PDF report is below, but here are some highlights:

  • 85% of owners use their PEV as their primary car, driving an average of 802 electric-fueled miles per month.
  • In San Diego, favorable utility rates result in some PEV owners paying equivalent to $0.90 to $1.90 per gallon of gasoline to power their electric vehicles.
  • Because California does not use oil to generate electricity, the current electric vehicles in the state save approximately 350,000 gallons of petroleum every month, decreasing imports and reducing the overall demand for oil.
  • Roughly two-thirds of vehicle charging takes place in off-peak hours (between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.).
  • 39% of the state’s PEV owners have also invested in home solar energy systems, helping to power their vehicles with renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In addition to charging at home, 71% of PEV owners report having access to either public or workplace charging or both.

The report also details EV owners willingness to pay for L2 and DC quick charging under various conditions. 


EV Owners Willingness To Pay For A Charge Under Different Circumstances

The nutshell takeaway is that a price of  80 cents per hour is the sweet spot for consumers if they are using L2 charging on a daily basis, and would pay up to an average of $2.36 in more critical situations.  For quick charging, those number increase to $1.85 and $4.64 (respectively)

Another interesting fact found in  is the survey found that 91% of respondents have L2 quick charging already at home. 

Additionally, 39% of respondents have a PV system (solar) installed already to offset an amount approximate to the usage of their EV.  Another 17% said they were planning to install a system.

It should be noted that given the lack availability in California of any plug-in, fully electric vehicle that is not a Nissan LEAF, this study is 96% based that group.

Lots of other great facts and figures are in the survey and we encourage anyone interested to have a read of the 9 page report.  (CCSE/CARB Plug-In Survey can be found here)

PV Ownership Amongst 1,419 EV Owners In Survey

Categories: Charging, General


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8 Comments on "Results From Largest Plug-In Electric Vehicle Study Ever Are In"

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Mark Hovis

94% drive an average of 45 miles or less per day. Interesting…….


Sounds like Volt range, although it seems a little higher daily usage than we had been led to believe for average drivers

Survey says 15% at up to 15 miles (Prius pip), 51% from 15 to 30 miles (VOLT), 28% from 30 to 45 which means VOLT would be burning gas frequently here & another 6% above 45%


I think that GM claimed the Volt to get 40 miles. EPA gave it 35 for 2011 and 2012. Toyota claims the pip to be 15 and EPA was 11, right? I think a typical driver gets much better than these EPA estimates. In my Volt, I get 45-52 mpc during the summer and 35-42 mpc during the winter.

Mark Hovis

That is the way I read it Tom. Still, if a person can make it on pure BEV then I applaud that. But maybe with a little less dissatisfaction with the growth of the charging infrastructure or calling the PHEV dirty. Got to keep ourselves positive on all aspects for in fact it is.

Very exciting to see 50% leaning PV. Imagine if 50% of all EV owners nation wide through 2020 committed to both. Imagine the impact that would have on our utility grid with 500,000 2-5kWh systems added. Instead of fueling the fears of straining the grid, EVs could in fact become a key component to aid peak power demands in the next 8 years. That would be cool. Lots of paradigms to bust to make it there. It may take longer but at least we have a choice now to true energy independence. “I’m free, and freedom taste of reality. ” PT

Jay Cole

Hey Mark,

I was surprised at the PV take-up myself amongst EV owners, 39% and 17% more in the pipeline, with most current EV/solar owners looking to expand their systems even further is significant.

It is also a good arguement against those that propose EVs are just putting a strain on the grid, and are causing defacto emissions (to some degree) at the power plant level.

Apparently us EV owners are awesome.
/no secret, (=

Mark Hovis

Exciting times indeed Jay.
I guess we get the conservative energy policy tonight from New Mexico. While many in the US are trying to make the $7500 subsidy a political football, it might be interesting to see how other countries handle this.

Most interesting to me is China granting the equivalent of $9281 to the auto manufacturer directly. No disrespect to my Chinese brothers but I don’t think their government is too worried about climate change. I think they simply see this as the future.
Do you know anyone who has broken this down into a table? Makes you aware that it is a global issue.

Andy S.

We went zero-carbon here in Tucson about a year and a half ago, doing a green reconstruction on an existing home. The first year, our 5kw PV system produced more than twice as much electricity as we used. Since getting our Leaf in December, we’re now just about even – producing about as much electricity as we use for all our household and transportation needs. (We’ll have final figures after a full year cycle.)
It’s great to know that, collectively, we’re at the head of the revolution and already making a difference. I just wish we were more of a community, but maybe that’s my fault for not seeking out other EV owners.
I’d love to get my hands on one of the $6000 home power units that let the Leaf power your home in case of utility failure. It also provides for L3 charging:
– Andy

Jay Cole

Very encouraging to hear stories like this Andy, your leading the charge!