Survey Says: Optimized At-Home Charging Preferred Over On-Demand


BMW i3 home charging

BMW i3 At-home Charging

Researchers from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), Brandon Schoettle and Dr. Michael Sivak, surveyed consumers about PHEVs and at-home charging.

A total of 542 people completed the survey, a majority of which were not EV owners. Rather, this was largely a sample of the general public (uneducated about EV technology), sharing their speculations and opinions on EV charging. About 17% were said to have had some type of EV or charging experience. Schoettle explained:

Many Plug-In Vehicle Owners Opt For Have A 240V Charging Station AT Home

Many Plug-In Vehicle Owners Opt For A 240V Charging Station At Home

“We noticed that people tend to prefer the things that give them the most control, rather than the most convenience. For example, respondents seemed to think that a traditional cable was the best way to recharge, even though inductive wireless charging could enable a self-fueling vehicle. A person wouldn’t be required.”

Takeaways from the report:

  • To manage the costs and electricity demand at home, 73% of people would elect optimized charging vs. on-demand charging (optimized charging allows the system to manage and plan vehicle charging, for example, charging at off-peak times).
  • 65% said they’d prefer to prioritize renewable energy sources rather than settle for standard optimized charging.
  • Nearly all—84%—would like to be able to “reverse charge,” or feed electricity from their vehicle back to the public grid in exchange for reduced rates or other compensation. Reverse charging could also help reduce power plants’ load during peak times.

The study showed that current regulatory standards would not necessarily support the requests of the consumers surveyed. This is obviously seen by the researchers as problematic for future mass adoption of PHEVs. The Consumer Preferences for the Charging of Plug-In Electric Vehicles states:

“A system that operates correctly, yet fails to satisfy the preferences and expectations of the PEV users, may end up limiting future acceptance of such systems and PEVs in general. This might be especially applicable to consumers who may already be reluctant to adopt a relatively new technology like PEVs. Furthermore, potential future uses of PEVs to enable self-fueling of self-driving vehicles may be problematic or unfeasible without the support for scenarios such as plug-and-charge and eVehicle roaming.”

Source: Green Car Congress

Categories: Charging


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33 Comments on "Survey Says: Optimized At-Home Charging Preferred Over On-Demand"

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Here goes down the drain the convenience of plugless charging or at least of its promoted convenience.

The opening salvos of the ev conversion have been fired. Now that the battle lines have been drawn and the enemy of both big oil and the utilities has been targeted for attack at all levels, we will begin to see more legislation aimed at making evs in general less appealing to the public. A recent win by Bill Buffet backed legislation, his consortium owns a bunch of the utility there, (and most of the state legislature) also he recently bought a bunch of car dealerships, they don’t sell evs by the way, and the first skirmish goes to the bad guys. So the main battle plan is that through legislation and a disinformation campaign they will fight ev adoption and that extends to home solar power generation, since they can be easily integrated and it is logical to do so, unless producers are cheated/punished by legislation. This plan relies heavily on public laziness and inertia. It will succeed in the short term due to the powerful forces behind it, though in the long run it, the war against progress and innovation will fail. Evidence that people are starting to wake up is shown in the failure of a recent… Read more »

Funny enough that makes tesla stronger who anticipated it and have a joint solar roof battery solution that becomes a lot more feasible when net metering goes away. The utilities and energy vendors will have to compete on quality and cost of their offering instead of legislating higher prices to consumers by blocking alternatives.

I assume you mean Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett is a Democrat but he is not very ideological about green energy. He’s just for whatever he thinks will make money. Yeah, he has utility holdings. But he also invested big into what is probably the largest EV maker on the planet . . . BYD in China. He also owns many wind farms.

So he has a very mixed set of actions on green energy. I just don’t think he really thinks about it.

Home charging alone is enough for me to never seriously consider FCV. The convenience of my home charger is just too great and will only increase when the wireless charging pads become common.

Then add autonomous technology, so the car can go charge itself, just makes inductive charging that much more powerful.

Why can’t the hydrogen just come to my car? Let a hydrogen truck autonomously show up at my place.

But I really don’t see the point. I can just fill a BEV at home. So why not? Why go through the inconvenience of a FCEV when over 99% of my my driving can be satisfied by charging a BEV in my garage?

Yeah, nothing scary about having driverless trucks of high pressure hydrogen driving around. Its not like anyone could easily attach a bomb to one and then direct it to go to certainly location when the bomb will be detonated.


Same here. The only way I would consider a fuel cell is as a range extender. For day-to-day use I don’t see any reason to not simply choose a car I can charge in my garage.

Someone could make an FCV you can charge daily too, they do have batteries in them after all. But at that point I don’t see why the fuel cell is all that important.

I am surprised the people sensitive to electric fields (who complain about the adverse health effect of power lines) haven’t come out against the prospect of charging pads. Since it only takes me 20 seconds to plug in and 10 to unplug I am too cheap to spend money on a system which is 90% efficient to replace a free cable which is 100% efficient.

Something I don’t understand on the net-metering. My solar panel array is slightly too small to meet my needs. During the middle of the day while I am at work, my meter runs backwards. At night while I am at home & charging the car, it runs forwards (more than it ran backwards). My monthly bill is $5-20. Does not allowing net metering prevent the meter from running backwards during the day? Does it only prevent people with larger arrays from receiving a check from the electric utility for excess power generated over a billing period?

Depends on where you are Ron, I can only speak of NY State, one of the better ones.

If you have a mechanical revenue meter on your home, you are having ‘net metering’ and the utility is paying you at the same rate they sold you the electricity – although the game is up the first time the meter spins backwards for the month more than forward. Or until a meter reader sees the thing spin backwards, which will raise his eyebrows.

In NYS there is no extra fee (unlike many states), and there is no extra UTILITY meter. But it has to be inspected by the Authority having Jurisdiction and approved by NYSERDA and of course, the cap is at 1% of homeowners (no where near that has been reached yet).

Any overage is reconciled once a year, and this year they gave me 2 1/2 cents / kwh on the overage. BUt in the preceding 12 months they have basically bought back my excess at what they sold it at (11-12 cents / kwh). Time of day rates would totally screw this plan up for the homeowner. Happy Thanksgiving.

If your meter is running forward and backwards then you are using net metering already.

The maximum you are allowed to be credited by the utility depends on your state laws.

Bill Howland:

That small amount of money you got from your excess is from selling your SRECs (solar renewable energy credits). People/companies who are “offsetting their energy usage” by buying carbon credits buy SRECs. By them buying dirty power and SRECs they are considered to be buying green power. Oddly, if the utility sells your power and sells the SRECs separately then your power, even though it is solar, becomes dirty power because someone else is using the SRECs to make their dirty power green. You’re greening someone (unless your SRECs don’t sell) but it isn’t necessarily the person you are sending your power to.

Unlucky: 2 points – the first point is exactly what I said and it is defacto the way that mechanical meters work, of which my particular utility doesn’t have any, anymore, but his does.

2). The money I’m given back is the ‘rate schedule 6’ wholesale power rate for energy producers – it has absolutely nothing to do with either clean or dirty power.

No offense, but your comment was unbelievably dumb.

But the money they give back to me is rather a scam, since they charge the next door neighbor 11-12 cents including a huge ‘delivery’ charge to send the juice a wopping 100 feet, and that without so much as a transformation. So its kind of a scam, but then the ‘piggy bank feature’ that I get by specifically *NOT* having TimeOfDay rates – which would compartmentalize the kwh’s – effectively killing it – I’m not charged a penny for the feature.

TO avoid some confusion it might help to put some numbers on things: So far my system has made just shy of 25,000 kwh in 2 1/2 years of operation, and in this part of the country where we basically have no solar for the next 3 months either because the sun is so low in the sky or else because the panels are covered with snow and the days are super short anyway – I dip into my credit piggy bank and get free power even though i haven’t made any solar power for months by Spring. This year I only plan on ‘selling’ the serving utility an overage of around 300 kwh – so their skinflint rate they pay me will have essentially no scam at all. But I get the big benefit of paying nothing even though my electrical consumption might be huge.

This situation obviously incentivizes solar homeowners in NY State not to ‘overbuild’ their systems over 100% of their annual usage.

If your meter is spinning backwards you are using net metering, regardless of whether it is mechanical or not. You said the same thing I did. Why the criticism?

NYSERDA says utilities don’t pay for excess electricity.

‘There is no annual true-up and the utility will not issue a check for excess energy, just credits’

Assembly Bill 6270 (which established net metering in NY) says the same thing. Credits don’t turn into payments.

The amount you were paid seemed like the value of RECs to me, but reading more it looks like in NY State that just doesn’t happen. But beyond that, it’s unclear how you got paid at all. The state laws state that do not pay for excess electricity beyond putting credits on your bill which will roll over indefinitely against future use.

Haha, the criticism is because BOTH of your statements are totally wrong. I received a $146 credit on my electric bill after the first aniversary, and a $35 credit on my bill after the second anniversary. This was for the annual overage, the second being much less than the first. Since I plan on purchasing a BEV for the car that will get the most miles on it, I expect my annual usage will go up even more since it will NEVER use even a small amount of gasoline, therefore I petitioned and got my anniversary month to be changed from June to April. This will allow 2 extra months of credits that won’t be wiped out at the aniversary month. ‘There is no annual true-up and the utility will not issue a check for excess energy, just credits’. Well Shazam!! (as Goober and Gomer would say). The annual credit means I didn’t have to pay the billing charge for 9 months the first year, 3 months the second, and 1 month this upcomming April. I’m trying to get this to where I expect to lower this miniscule credit to essentially zero, since its a bit of a scam as… Read more »

Yeah, it is very highly dependent on the local utility rules. And “net metering” is a broad name that covers many different rate systems that can vary in large ways (is there a minimum monthly fee, is the ‘netting’ by KWH or by $, are TOU rates used, do they pay anything if you generate more than you use for a month/year, etc.).

Yeah, in case of NY State:

1). They issue you a credit on any annual OVERAGE, that is eaten up with the (in my case $17 plus tax) (in my case, exactly $15.67 each month) Billing Charge, which is unavoidable – and if anyone is paying attention, in my case it was a ‘bit’ avoidable.

2). There is absolutely no charge for the meter change-out, or the Net Meter style meter that must be installed in lieu of the normal absolute value meter.

3). TOU is available if I want it, but that compartmentalizes the KWH generated into ‘off peak, shoulder-peak, and on-peak’ which is dumb for almost all users since you don’t want to tell the utility officially that the excess juice you make during the day you use up later during a different time period. TOU would segregate these amounts during their respective rate classes, and would be superdumb to apply for.

For me:
1) I pay a minimum $10/month fee (I forget what they call it).
2) At the end of the year, if I generate more than I use then they pay me 4 cents/KWH for my excess generation. (Which is a money-loser for me but I’m fine with that.)
3) I’m not sure if the netting is by KWH or $. I should look that up.

i personally don’t care for wireless charging. in the first instance, i don’t like the idea of having to line my car up with the charger when i pull into my driveway. i would rather just pull in, and then plug the car in where it is. wireless charging means that you have to decide where you have to put your car, and then you have to line up to the same spot every time. so, if your alignment means that you have to drive forward into the garage, you can’t back into the garage. home charging is definitely preferable, but if you own a BEV, you’re going to want a fast charge public infrastructure. one of the problems with a fast charge infrastructure is that it is difficult to see how private companies can make a successful business without significant government subsidies. if you have a 200+ mile BEV, it will most likely reduce how often a driver would need to use public charging infrastructure. so, for example, if a person only needs fast charging once a month (this might be more often in cold climate areas during the winter), how could an operator be profitable? it’s not as… Read more »

I prefer wireless and proper capitalization. 😉

“no comment” commented: “wireless charging means that you have to decide where you have to put your car, and then you have to line up to the same spot every time. so, if your alignment means that you have to drive forward into the garage, you can’t back into the garage.” You could install tire guides on the floor of your garage (or in your driveway) to guide your car into the precise parking place you want. These would be the same sort of guides they use in auto service shops. I see no reason you couldn’t back the car into such a parking spot. Now, you are correct to say that you must have a specific spot to park your car, and you can’t part it anywhere else if you want to charge it wirelessly. If that limitation will be a problem for you, then by all means stick to wired charging. “one of the problems with a fast charge infrastructure is that it is difficult to see how private companies can make a successful business without significant government subsidies.” Since there are already multiple for-profit EV charging companies installing public chargers, I don’t understand why you’d make such… Read more »

“Rather, this was largely a sample of the general public (uneducated about EV technology), sharing their speculations and opinions on EV charging. About 17% were said to have had some type of EV or charging experience.”
Huh? If this was a sample of the general public, you’d expect something like <0.25% to have EV charging experience (the current marketshare may be close to 1%, but if you take into account the avg. age of US cars (11yrs), prob. %0.25 of those on the road are EVs.)
Given the17% claim, the entire study seems highly quesitonable.

“Seems somewhat questionable” YEAH! This is just all pie-in-the-sky talk from people who will never ever purchase electric cars, or have even been around them ever, but yet KNOW ALL ABOUT THEM. I (and several others) am on my 4th EV, and I’ve also, in general, seen a light bulb or two in my time so I’m reasonably familiar with some electrical issues. I especially liked the part where they want money back from discharging their car. This idea has been constantly floated, and depending on the degree this function is necessary (which it might be out west at a superhuge windfarm, large solar arrays, etc) – the utility will perform the smoothing function itself. The knee-slapper in all this is that Nissan, maker of the world’s WORST car batteries – always does these V2G systems to add to the work the batteries must do, besides propelling the car. Even though these are just micro charge/discharge cycles, there is plenty of heating loss by the time it gets back to the windmills, which is probably why most of the bigger schemes have the smoothing somewhere near the windmills (or flywheels or whathave you). But Nissan owners are always surprised 1).… Read more »

It is probably a bogus a number. A LOT of people think that a Prius is an “electric vehicle” even though no EV person would say that.

“Some” type of charging experience could also mean i have seen someone plugin a cable in a electric car or i was close when someone did it. In fact if you consider that you have 20-30 friends/neighbours that you visit regularly and someone of those is a EV enthusiast, it is very likely he has shown you how to plug it in.

The numbers could be very true:
0.25% of all cars are plugins, the average family has 2 cars, you know like 20 families -> suddenly the chances are 10% that someone once showed you how to plug a car in.

“Nearly all—84%—would like to be able to “reverse charge,” or feed electricity from their vehicle back to the public grid in exchange for reduced rates or other compensation. Reverse charging could also help reduce power plants’ load during peak times”

WOAH! I thought that the conventional wisdom is that people would hate this idea?!?!

Well, that is encouraging for future V2G systems. Is anyone working on this?

“Reduce Loading during peak times”.

That statement proves the big shots doing this study really have no clue as to the real world.

Utilities have handled this problem for over a century with load shedding agreements with big customers.

Communications companies, Government installations, and Hospitals all have very large emergency generator installations which must be exercised once a month anyway. Load shedding agreements simply mean the utility asks these customers to do their ‘exercising’ at a date and time helpful to the utility.

Apparently the big wigs here either

1). Are really clueless and don’t know that, or:

2). Hope the people giving them fat paychecks don’t find out.

Yes, we all know that demand-response is a thing.

But as we add more and more solar PV and wind, we will need more and more ways of tweaking the demand and supply in response to the current solar PV generation and wind generation.

We are going to increasingly need storage. Right now it is a fairly niche thing . . . something used by off-gridders, remote Islands that want to reduce diesel costs, and a few areas where the TOU rate arbitrage can make it cost effective.

But we will increasingly need more of it. The famous “duck curve” of California is a real issue.

It just seems like it shows people don’t know what they are talking about.

V2G wears out packs too much right now. It’s a money loser. For use as an emergency backup power source for your own home maybe, but if you sold the power to the utility you’d lose your butt, they just wouldn’t pay you enough to make it worth wearing out your pack.

How do you know? Have you done a scientific study? Have you asked utilities how much they would pay for some electricity for frequency regulation or shortages?

speculawyer said:

“WOAH! I thought that the conventional wisdom is that people would hate this [V2G] idea?!?!”

I think the response there is an artifact of how the question was phrased coupled with the lack of knowledge of the overwhelming majority of respondents.

If you asked the average non-EV owner “If you owned an electric car, would you like to be able to sell electricity back to your utility at a profit?”, then most people are gonna say “Yes!”

Contrariwise, if you asked “If you owned an electric car, do you think it would be a good idea to let your local utility use your car’s battery as a backup for electric grid power, even if that would wear out your car’s battery faster?” …then I’ll bet most people would say “No!”

This is downright silly. When people unfamiliar with a new technology start using it, they learn how to use it and what its limitations are. In general, people don’t turn their nose up at a new technology which is catching on if it turns out not to work exactly as they expected before they got it.

If people in general aren’t interested in using a given new tech, then it simply doesn’t catch on. In fact, you can say that about most new products; that they don’t catch on, and fade from the market. Obviously PEVs are a successful technology whose popularity is growing year by year.

Nothing to see here. Move along; move along!