PEVs in California triple from 2011 to 2012

by Ernie Hernandez on May 23, 2013

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EVs gaining ground in California

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) has released its second survey of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners (found here). We reported on the results of the first survey last August (found here). With information provided by over 2,000 electric vehicle (EV) owners, this report provides information and details found nowhere else.

EV sales are still an extremely small slice of the overall vehicle pie. But in California, EV sales tripled from 2011 to 2012. LEAF owners make up 97 percent of respondents, and 92 percent of respondents report overall satisfaction with their vehicles. Californians own over 30,000 PEVs and drive more than 15 million miles each month in their EVs. Californians  own roughly one in three PEVs in the nation. The highest concentration of EVs is in the greater San Francisco bay area, with Los Angeles/Orange County next, followed by the San Diego area market. EV owners tend to be highly educated with 87 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree with the latter held by the larger margin.

EV owners tend to own their own home (96 percent) and make more money than conventional vehicle owners. Just six percent have only one person in the household, showing that these are being used as family vehicles. More than half had at least one child in the household.

As commuting is one of the least favorite pastimes of most drivers, it is not surprising that 59 percent stated that high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access was important to their decision to go with a PEV. Although the vast majority (94 percent) own a second conventional gasoline powered vehicle, the PEV is driven more with the gasoline vehicle used for work or vacation travel.

Employers recognize the benefit of offering EV charging and over a third offer workplace charging. Most of those (82 percent) offer it at no charge. It seems that more employers may be looking to offer this perk in the future if manufacturers can provide an affordable EV that will travel up to 150 miles, or twice what the 2013 Nissan LEAF provides. Almost one third of respondents say that a range of 101 to 150 miles would be desirable. Still over half want a range greater than 150 miles.

Below is an infographic with some of this information provided. For more detailed information regarding the survey, we have provided a link to the survey (found here).

CCSE May 2013 Survey

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