More on EVs: Insights from our readers
Back in late June, I wrote a post titled “The mainstreaming of EVs … what’s your take?” It discussed the divide between two schools of thought: installing EV charging stations to prime the pump for EV sales vs. waiting until charging stations are needed, contingent on the demand of more EVs taking to the streets.
Here at Shelton Group, we’ve been in the first camp – we think installing the stations paves the way for the social norming of EVs and helps curb one of the top factors (if not the top factor) that inhibits EV sales: range anxiety.
After sharing our point of view, I asked our readership (you) to share your opinions about what’s holding EV sales back. Thank you for your comments! Your enthusiastic responses made that post the most replied to in Shelton history (at least our recent history). What did we hear from you? Read on …
It’s not as simple as just range anxiety
While commenters seemed to agree that range anxiety is a strong factor, there was some debate about whether it is indeed the top reason consumers hesitate to jump on the EV bandwagon.
Right out of the gate, some of you who work in the industry noted that range anxiety is a more of an issue for non-EV owners than for those who already drive EVs. That point was backed up by both urban and rural EV owners who posted. One set of EV owners proactively makes sure their EV is charged using one of the mobile apps that allow you to find a suitable charging opportunity – whether commercial or, now, the more common “plug share” locations. However, they still wish there were more stations.
Another soon-to-be owner, from a more urban part of the U.S., sees charging as less of an issue in her locale. She noted the happy fact that her first service appointment is as far away as 150K miles in the future … and wondered how this big cut in maintenance affects the level of support/marketing major manufacturers are willing to do for their EVs. In turn, how does that affect consumer perception?
It’s not the car, it’s the charger
One commenter challenged us to think about breaking down barriers to EV adoption into two separate issues: 1) EVs have clearly come a long way, and the physical machines themselves are no longer the barrier to individual adoption – 2) so it’s the charging infrastructure that is likely impeding widespread adoption.
Another response potentially helps solve another piece of the charging dilemma – the different types of chargers that only fit certain cars. This responder suggested that installing wireless charging stations on most major roadways would eliminate the square peg/round hole charging issue that plagues some EV owners searching for the right plug-in on a road trip.
Things are changing fast
This issue is constantly evolving. Since my first post went live, Volvo announced that they’ll stop making combustion-only engines in a couple of years. As one responder pointed out, many EV owners in some areas of North America (and around the globe) are still waiting months for their new vehicles … so the news on EVs isn’t all bad.
There’s more to explore
Overall, there were some interesting perspectives and suggestions, for sure – they’re worth reading for yourself. We’ll keep thinking about the topic and keep exploring it. In fact, we’ll have some new Shelton Group proprietary research going into the field soon. And yes, you guessed it, one of the possible special topics would delve deeper into consumer perceptions around EVs and the barriers to widespread adoption. It’s still TBD what direction we go with the survey, but you can be sure there will be new studies from Shelton Group coming your way over the next couple of months.