Electric mobility: charging ahead? Drivers survey The Netherlands 2013

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1 Electric mobility: charging ahead? Drivers survey The Netherlands 2013

2 Contents Preface Introduction and methodology Meet your EV driver: young and well-educated Going green, saving money Driving experience: better than expected Keeping charged Conclusions and Recommendations 2

3 Preface 3

4 Preface Slowly but surely realization is dawning on even the most global-warming adverse minds that there are pressing reasons to invest in commodities which do not solely rely on fossil fuels. Even if one does not recognize the disquieting effects on the environment, then still the urgency of the fact that fossil fuels are finite can no longer be ignored. Besides the threats, the green economy provides opportunities for growth through new business models and propositions. Fortunately, many people, organizations and business are aware of this and are acting on the imperative. This has resulted, among others, in the strong upsurge of the market for electric vehicles, the most popular of which, in this survey are clearly the Nissan Leaf and Opel Ampera. We can witness this in the growing consumer market of electric vehicles, as well as in the strong increase in variety of supply of electric vehicles more and more manufacturers produce a range of semi-electric vehicles. In the Netherlands, which is ahead of the curve when it comes to electric driving, we have witnessed significant developments of all factors related to electric driving. The relatively short distances and advanced existing electrical infrastructure create an ideal environment for electric driving. Subsidies, positive stimuli from employers have added to this, and the unique interoperable charging infrastructure is strongly developing. At the same time, the market cannot yet be said to have grown beyond infancy. Although growth is strong (almost with the number of personal electric vehicles in the past year almost tripling), electric vehicles as yet comprise a mere 2% of the total market. We conducted a survey among drivers of EV s in the Netherlands in early 2013 and from the results of this study we can only conclude that there is work to be done and now is the time to act since momentum is hard to gain, but even harder to retrieve. This survey shows that there are hurdles to be taken yet: the range can and must be improved. Consumers demand a more developed charging infrastructure with better facilities. By addressing these challenges the consumer base can be expanded from the current select group to include the wider population. To support this valiant work, we are proud to present the underlying study on the experience of driving electrically in the Netherlands these days. We hope and are convinced that this report creates valuable insights and provides food for thought. TBO Maarten Noom Accenture Jurjen de Jong GreenFlux Robert Coffeng Oranjewoud 4

5 Introduction and methodology 5

6 Introduction and methodology In 2012, we executed a study to gain insight in the driving experience of drivers of electric vehicles. In the past year, the market for (semi-)electric cars has grown significantly, with almost all major car manufacturers producing a (semi-)electric car. We believe it is important to continue to understand this fast-growing market; to understand why people choose to drive an electric, rather than a conventional car, and to understand their driving experience. Like last year, we executed the study by means of an online survey. The survey was largely kept identical to last year s survey, in order to ensure comparability of answers. We have reached out to both drivers of electric vehicles (FEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). Respondents include those people who own, lease or share FEV or PHEV cars. In the survey, questions were included in the following categories: Driver profile The reasons to choose for FEV or PHEV Driving experience Charging and range The survey was distributed via the website of zerauto.nl, a portal about electric driving. We received close to 200 responses. The research took place between April 11 th 2013 and the end of August,

7 Meet your EV driver: young and well-educated 7

8 Driver profile Who is the typical FEV or PHEV driver? Young males with technical occupations dominate the group of respondents of this year s survey. Nissan Leaf and Opel Ampera most popular among respondents 26% 26% Type of vehicle 20% 9% 5% 3% 2% 2% 2% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% nissan-leaf opel-ampera Other** mercedes-a chevrolet-volt toyota-prius-plugin mitsubishi-imiev renault-kangoo ze renault-zoe renault-fluence citroen-c-zero smart-for-two fisker-karma renault-twizzy FEV and PHEV drivers are a somewhat select group Dutch consumers can choose from an increasing range of electric vehicles, and uptake has been increasing steadily. As of 31 August 2013, there were almost 2,300 FEVs and over 8,100 PHEVs in the Dutch passenger car fleet. Among respondents, the Nissan-Leaf is the most common EV, matched in number by the Opel Ampera, the most popular PHEV. In the wider Dutch market, over 3,500 Opel Amperas have been registered, compared to 771 Nissan Leafs. * Source: Agentschap NL, Cijfers Electrisch Vervoer (t/m 31 augustus 2013). Utrecht, September **Other includes conventional cars that have been converted to full-electric vehcles. 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Age PHEV FEV Average Dutch driver*** < This year s respondents are typically males between 35 and 55 years old. On average, the PHEV drivers are older than drivers of FEV vehicles, but both still younger than the average Dutch driver. More than 85% has higher vocational or university education, and many work in technology-related sectors, like energy, ICT or automotive. *** Source: CBS (2013): Personen in bezit van auto of motor; persoonskenmerken. Den Haag, 12 March

9 Experience and use A growing group of FEV drivers has been driving electric for more than a year, mainly for commuting to and from work, a distance usually within the range of their vehicle. Many PHEV-driving respondents indicate that they use their fuel engine for 42% of the time caused by a lack of charging points. Respondents are gaining experience driving electric How long have you been driving your FEV/PHEV >24 months months 6-12 months 3-6 months FEV FEV PHEV months 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% The share of respondents that has been driving electric for more than a year has more than doubled from At the same time, a new wave of users has just started driving electric. The majority of PHEV drivers has been driving their plug-in less than a year. PHEVs use their fuel engine more than necessary due to lack of charging points What would stimulate you to use the electric engine more? 8% 6% 86% More charging points Cheaper charging Longer range The average distance that Dutch drivers commute daily is ~23 km. In addition, drivers travel an average of ~42 km per day for other work purposes*. In line with this, close to 80% of respondents commute less than 50 km one-way. Given a daily travel distance of up to 65 km, there is little need for most PHEV drivers to use the fuel engine. Yet many still do; 42% of the time on average. This changes little as they gain experience. A lack of charging points is the main barrier mentioned. * Source: CBS (2013): Mobiliteit in Nederland; vervoerswijzen en motieven. Den Haag, 1 July

10 Going green, saving money 10

11 Factors influencing the choice for a FEV or PHEV What makes people choose an electric or plug-in vehicle? Conventional fuel vehicles are still the default choice for most Dutch drivers. So what makes people decide for an electric or plug-in vehicle? Economic factors are always important in making large purchase decisions, and no less so in the current economic environment. In their decisions, drivers have to weigh up the costs of both buying and using the car on one side, and fiscal and other benefits on the other side. To add to the complexity many can choose between buying and leasing. What factors do they consider most important in their decision? Respondents give equal weight to the different cost factors involved in obtaining and using their FEV or PHEV All Leased Company-owned Economic factors influencing the decision to choose FEV/PHEV? End-of-life value Costs of use Maintenance costs Purchase costs Fiscal benefit Lease price Innovative image Sustainability Emissions PHEV FEV Those buying consider purchase costs, maintenance costs, costs of use and the end-of-life value. Differences between FEV and PHEV are minor. Fiscal benefits play an important role for those deciding to lease an FEV or PHEV, mentioned by 62% of respondents. Non-economic factors that drivers consider when choosing electric are the innovative image, sustainability, and emissions reductions. As with financial factors, these receive roughly equal weights in the decision making process. FEV drivers place slightly more stock on emissions-benefits and PHEV drivers appreciate the innovative image. 11

12 Buying or leasing? Fiscal benefits support the uptake of FEVs and PHEVs, especially reducing costs for leasing and for the self-employed. Understandably, therefore, leasing is more common than buying. Leasing more common than buying PHEV FEV Around 60% of electric vehicles are lease cars 61% 39% 57% 9% 34% Shared lease car (Company-)owned car Lease car This year, company-ownership stands at over one-third for FEVs, and close to 40% for PHEVs, a marked increase from Government support for the self-employed for purchasing electric vehicles is a likely factor behind this growth. Do drivers trust their electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle enough to rely on it as their only car? FEVs are often the driver s primary car, but many also have a second car, which they can use for longer journeys. More than one-third of PHEV drivers relies on the plug-in as their only car % PHEV 5% No Yes % FEV 11% No Yes % 89% % 95% Do you have another car? Is the PHEV the car you use most often? 0 Do you have another car? Is the FEV the car you use most often? 12

13 Making informed decisions on costs Do drivers have insight in the costs of driving electric to make informed decisions? Costs of use are one of the factors that influences the choice to purchase an electric vehicle. Informed decision making requires people to have good insight in the costs of use, and the savings relative to the costs of driving an conventional vehicle. To what extent do they have such insight when they make the purchase decision? And does this hold for those leasing electric vehicles too? Insight in costs of driving electric has improved since last year 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Insight in the costs of driving electric Leased (Company)owned 2012* 2013 Very well aware Well aware Somewhat aware Little aware Over half of respondents feels that they have above-average insight in the costs of driving electric, while last year this was 38%. Respondents driving a company-owned car profess good insight in the costs of use. This awareness is much less among lease car drivers, who are not directly confronted with driving costs on their pay slip. On average, insight in the costs of driving electric increases as drivers have more experience. At the same time, an increasing share indicates to have relatively little insight after driving for more than a year. Is this because the novelty wears of? Or could this mean they start caring less about the costs? * 2012 respondents represent a population of 75% leased and 25% (company)owned vehicles. 13

14 Overall satisfaction Would you recommend? Customer advocacy is one of the best types of marketing. Users recommending a product to peers can make the difference for successful uptake, while bad experiences early on can severely slow the advance of a new product. This makes the experiences of the first FEV and PHEV drivers all the more important. So what do they think? Would they consider taking and electric vehicle or plug-in again? And are they willing to recommend their friends to buy one? Respondents show both customer loyalty and customer advocacy, stimulating wider uptake Would you recommend to friends? FEV drivers 75% 3% 22% PHEV drivers 5% Yes No PHEV Yes No My next car will be a 31% FEV drivers 5% 10% 54% PHEV drivers 8% 4% Other Fuel car FEV PHEV Other Fuel car FEV PHEV Satisfaction among FEV and PHEV drivers is high. Three-quarters of FEV drivers would recommend one friends, and 95% of PHEV drivers would advice a plug-in. Moreover, the majority intends not to go back to a conventional car themselves. Over 80% of respondents expects that their next car will be a plug-in or full electric again. Interestingly, the experience of many PHEV drivers has given them enough confidence in driving electric that they intend to have a fullelectric vehicle as their next car. 50% 38% 95% 14

15 It s electrifying! Ruud Nijs TheRockGroup My wife always wants to use my electric car. She prefers driving my car, as it makes her very relaxed, says Ruud Nijs. Since five months he has been driving a Renault Zoe - a fully electric car. He enjoys it tremendously, for a variety of reasons. The driving experience is enjoyable and comfortable. It is very quiet, and therefore very relaxing. When you release the throttle it is thrilling to see that it charges the battery. And my son loves it: we speed away faster than any other car at the traffic lights! He decided to buy an electric car, via his company, for three reasons. The environment is one. To set an example is another one- as his company works to mainstream sustainability: put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. And clearly, the financial benefits positively influenced his decision. Having bought his Zoe via his company, it is cheaper than a regular fuel car. Even when taxes go up in January 2014, the business case is still positive. He explains that one of the main drivers of costs currently lies in the rent for the battery. At the same time, the battery is the only part of the vehicle that will likely ever need to be replaced he reckons he can drive this car until the end of his life, as there is no fuel-burning motor and then Renault will bear the costs for the replacement of the battery. The driving experience cannot, according to Ruud, be beaten by a fuel car. But, if you do not sincerely enjoy facing the challenges of driving an electric car, you should not yet buy one. There are simply still too many operational challenges at present. Over time Ruud has learnt to cope with these challenges. Initially, he planned every journey carefully, finding out where fast charging points were and carefully calculating distances between charging points. In spite of these careful considerations, Ruud ran into problems a number of times. One day, he had planned a daring journey, covering five cities in one day: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Haarlem. His planning had been meticulous. He had googled availability, had even phoned to check whether the charging points were working properly. In Utrecht, where he wanted to charge, the point did not work. At his next charging point, he found out that he needed an additional subscription to use it. Not having been able to charge anywhere on the way, he miraculously managed to arrive in Rotterdam. Here he was able to charge sufficiently to reach the next fast-charging point at 12 o clock at night. It was way after midnight beforehe was able to continue his journey and go home. Such difficulties are a thing of the past though. He has become acquainted with his car; knows how far it can go in the cold and heat, when driving fast, or slow. He knows the Dutch charging infrastructure and which charging points actually function or not. Now the time to fully enjoy electric driving has come! 15

16 Driving experience: better than expected 16

17 Driving experience exceeds expectations With the advent of electric driving, the driving experience may well turn out to be the decisive factor in the success or failure of this means of transport. Since the introduction of the first modern automobile in 1886, cars have always been synonymous with luxury and freedom. In the latter we may find one of the biggest hurdles that full electric vehicles will have to pass. Will they be able to provide the freedom the modern consumer has come to expect? Or will driving an electric car always be an ideological statement? The data suggests that both FEV and PHEV drivers find that overall, the driving experience not only meets, but exceeds their initial expectations. Ease of use and technical reliability positively evaluated Ease of use Experience now Expectation in advance Experience now Expectation in advance Poor Basic Moderate Good In both years of this research, users indicate that they find the cars easier to use than they had expected in advance Expectations of technical reliability were rather high to start off with % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Technical reliability Experience now Expectation in advance Experience now Expectation in advance In 2012 over 70% expected good or moderate reliability and in 2012 this had gone up to over 80%, with 50% expecting good reliability In both years, expectations were exceeded 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 17

18 Drivers expect to reach their destinations - safely Technical reliability clearly is no issue. But do electrical cars score equally well when it comes to safety? And to the all-important feature of range? Cars considered safe Experience now Expectation in advance Experience when driving Range exceeds expectations In the area of safety, over 30% expected excellent safety and over 80% moderate to excellent safety The driving experience exceeded the expectations by a margin! Poor Basic Moderate Good Excellent FEV PHEV Experience now Expectation in advance Experience now Expectation in advance Experience now Expectation in advance 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% As for range, clearly one of the biggest hurdles in electric driving, PHEV drivers expected approximately the same range as they experienced In 2012 FEV drivers were marginally less satisfied with the range than expected In 2013, however, they were significantly more satisfied than expected. A clear improvement there! Poor Basic Moderate Good Excellent 18

19 Electric journeys planned more than conventional trips Whereas the experience of range is improving, it cannot go unnoticed that there are still users who often find the range too limited. To what extend does this influence their behavior? Journey planning becomes less rigorous FEV Always Often Sometimes Never Before FEV/PHEV, a clear majority (hardly) ever planned their journeys Both now plan their journeys more often than before driving FEV/PHEV 100% PHEV More FEV drivers plan their journey than PHEV drivers 50% 0% Before When starting Now Other means of transport used by minority Do you combine other means of transport in electric journey? Other Bicycle Walking Motor Car Public transport No Yes FEV drivers their journeys less over time, whereas PHEV drivers plan their journeys marginally more often Over time though, planning becomes less FEV/PHEV drivers indicate that electric driving is displacing their use of conventional cars Close to 40% of electrical drivers use a combination of means of transport Electric transport is most often combined with public transport, followed by bicycles and walking

20 Peter-Paul de Leeuw - Accenture Hot in summer, cold in winter I really had to get used to driving an FEV in the beginning, Peter-Paul de Leeuw says. It all started when I picked up the car at the dealer. From the dealer to my client, who knew I was getting the car that day, was a distance of 105 km. On entering the car, the range indicator informed me that I could drive 150 km, so I zoomed away, not using the eco function and with the heater on. Soon though, the remaining range started coming dangerously close to the remaining distance, until the one passed the other: the remaining distance was 20 km, whereas the car had a mere 10 km of range left. Peter-Paul relates his initial surprise at this. He could not fathom it: had he not started of with 45 km leeway? Ultimately though, he had to cave in: I had to stop at a petrol station, to charge. They did not have a charging point, so I had to plug in to the regular electricity network. It took two hours to power the battery for the remaining 10 km. Luckily, my client loved the idea of electric driving! After this initial fiasco, Peter-Paul soon became accustomed to driving electric. When driving longer distances in summer, he opens the windows. In winter, he simply puts on a jacket and warm socks, but that is not always enough. One severely cold day, he feared his toes would freeze of if he did not at times turn on the heating. The battery ran out exactly at the entrance, and he and a colleague pushed the car the last remaining meters to the parking lot. Still, he says, these were initial hick-ups. Now I know what I can and cannot do. I barely ever have to plan my journeys these days, unless I take a completely new route. The upside is that I am guaranteed a parking place wherever I go. Only a few parking lots have fast charging points, which sometimes hinders him when he stays somewhere for a short while only. Additionally, with the advent of PHEV vehicles, he finds that more and more often those cars take up charging points. Naturally I don t blame them, but it can be frustrating sometimes. Although the road has been bumpy at times, he is a true electric car enthusiast. I love the driving experience. The road-handling is much better than that of fuel cars. And, as an EV has continuous torque, it just keeps going. Initially he chose to drive electric because he enjoyed being innovative. Trying out new things. Environmental concerns aided to his decision making process. The fact that he would immediately get a parking permit, rather than being on a wait list for 4,5 years, and financial benefits also helped. These reasons are still valid, but he adds that he does also consider it a hobby. In its current state, it is not yet fit to function as primary car. You cannot yet take worry-free trips with it. To develop this into a mainstream commodity, you would have to improve the range, he indicates. By doing that, the inadequate charging infrastructure will not be a limitation any more. A clear call to action for the automotive industry! 20

21 Keeping charged 21

22 Limited acces to charcing From driving conventional cars, drivers are used to being able to fill up where and when they need. The number of public charging points has increased to over 3,100 (August 2013)*, but they are far from ubiquitous yet, requiring drivers to consider the location of charging points when planning their journey. Does this create a barrier limiting the wide-spread use of FEVs and PHEVs? Access to charging points still insufficient to meet people s needs Work Home Other regular destinations Do you have access to charging points? % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Never Sometimes Often/Always FEV and PHEV drivers can usually charge at work, but a significant share does not have access to a charging point at these places. Away from home or work, most drivers have access to charging points only sometimes, suggesting that they need to plan their journey around the charging locations they know, or reserve charging points ahead of time. More generally, over one-third of respondents indicates that they number of charging points they have access to is insufficient to meet their needs. Normal charging taking up to 5 hours is acceptable for most respondents, while this limit is 30 minutes for fast charging. Reducing charging times, and having a good mix of fast- and normal charging locations can therefore spur EV use. * Source: Agentschap NL, Cijfers Electrisch Vervoer (t/m 31 augustus 2013). Utrecht, September

23 Charging points and cars: out of balance If thy cannot get a dedicated charging point, many drivers resort to the traditional plug-and-socket to charge their electric vehicle. This may do the job, but reiterates the lack of charging infrastructure that is available for people driving electric currently. Away from home, drivers sometimes cannot find charging points within walking distance of their destination, or find them occupied or broken. In absence of charging infrastructure, many driver charge through plug and socket How do you charge at home? Plug and socket Charging point 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 63% 37% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% What type of charging options do you use?* 30% 43% 41% 22% 28% 35% Plug and socket Charging point What distance are you prepared to walk from charging point to destination? Max. 5 min Max. 10 min Max. 15 min Max. 20 min Max. 30 min FEV PHEV >30 min Never Often Always As many respondents do not have access to a charging point at home, more than one-third use a conventional plug and socket to charge their vehicle when parked, creating potential safety hazards. This finding is confirmed by the survey of Agentschap NL from Spring 2013, which found that 30% of respondents always uses a conventional plug, and 41% often. At public charging points, the most frequently mentioned problem encountered is that they are occupied or out of order, another sign of limited capacity. Respondents also mention that when charging points are available, they are sometimes too far from their destination. This is not for a lack of willingness to walk: many respondents would walk up to15 minutes or more. * Source: Agentschap NL (2013): Ervaringen met elektrisch vervoer: lokale initiatieven. Utrecht, 27 May

24 Ensuring good quality charging infrastructure Having enough charging points is one thing; the infrastructure that exists also need to work properly. Generally, users are positive about the technical quality of charging points, but they do indicate that charging points are often already occupied. The willingness to pay extra for fast charging at convenient locations emphasizes the importance of reducing charging time and providing more fast charging facilities. Drivers are willing to pay extra for fast charging at convenient locations How do you rate the technical reliability of public charging points? Poor 10% Basic Good 40% 20% Excellent 30% At convenient locations Are you prepared to pay extra? For faster charging 0% Most common problems at charging points? 0% Other 17% Occupied Out of order 35% 48% For extra 0% facilities Some 70% of respondents considers the technical reliability of public charging points good to excellent. At public charging points, the most frequently mentioned problem encountered is that they are occupied or out of order, another sign of limited capacity. A majority of respondents is prepared to pay extra for charging at convenient locations, and for faster charging. The willingness to pay for extra facilities is lower. 49% 51% 35% 65% 64% 36% Yes No 24

25 Awareness of public charging locations With the limited availability of charging points, it is important for FEV and PHEV drivers to know the locations where they can recharge their car, just as conventional car drivers need to ensure that they fill up in time. With the rollout of charging infrastructure, new locations are set up regularly, making it more difficult to keep track. Does this influence the level of awareness of charging locations among people driving electric? Awareness of the location of public charging points improves significantly once people gain experience When starting driving electric Awareness of the location of public charging points 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Not at all Somewhat Well aware FEV PHEV FEV Very much Many respondents have only little insight in the location of charging points at the outset, but they become well aware of places to charge when they have been driving electric for some time. Digital services, like apps, can help raise awareness. At the same time, the number of charging points that people use increases with the time they have been driving FEV or PHEV. The need drivers feel to reserve charging points also decreases with experience. Now 60% 50% 40% 30% FEV 2013 PHEV FEV % 80% 60% Number of charging points used weekly, on average % 40% % 20% *-1 0% Not at all Somewhat Well aware Very much 0% <3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months months >24 months 25

26 Charging services providers The advent of electric mobility provides opportunities for different players to provide charging facilities and services. Previously, energy suppliers were in the lead, working with local authorities and private sector partners in rolling out charging infrastructure, and using this to supply charging services. With over half of electric vehicles being lease cars, lease companies have also started providing charging, as part of a complete service package. Next to these, new dedicated charging services providers have spotted an opportunity to meet this emerging need, and shaping an offering to meet the expectations of the first generation of FEV and PHEV drivers. Dedicated service providers gaining ground on conventional players From which providers do you use the charging services? 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Dedicated charging service provider Car lease company Energy supplier PHEV FEV 2013 FEV Others In 2012, the majority of respondents primarily used the charging services of energy suppliers. The picture this year is very different. Almost half of FEV and PHEV drivers uses the services of dedicated charging providers, while energy suppliers account for less than a quarter of responses. Despite the fact that dedicated suppliers were not included as an explicit category in last year s survey (they were included in other ), this suggests a remarkable shift in the market. What is behind the surge in popularity of dedicated service providers? Do they provide better facilities? Respondents indicate that wireless internet and office facilities are most desired. However, drivers appear not willing to pay extra for good facilities, but they will pay a premium for faster charging, and charging at convenient locations. This suggests opportunities for co-investment in infrastructure. 26

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