Texas Plugs In. Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles

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1 Texas Plugs In Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles

2 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles BACKGROUND Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) are becoming available in an ever increasing number of makes and models in the United States. 1 An implication of PEVs growing availability is that these vehicles are transitioning from a niche market for enthusiasts to a viable new car option for consumers who are currently driving gasoline-powered vehicles. As the PEV market evolves, the preferences of this much larger group of consumers will ultimately underlie PEV adoption rates and charging behaviors. Electric utilities will play an intrinsic role as these consumers embrace PEVs. Many utilities are already providing their customers with PEV-related information, electrical refueling services, and infrastructure. To inform these and related efforts, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting survey research that looks at the coming PEV world from the driver s seat. EPRI s ongoing PEV survey research is providing a data-driven understanding of electricity customers: knowledge about PEVs, expectations of utilities relative to PEVs, and perceptions of PEVs as an alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles. The survey instrument used to collect this data has been developed in an ongoing collaborative process with Electric Transportation Program Members. The instrument has evolved somewhat, but maintains a focus on issues relevant to utilities, including charging time, location, and pricing preferences; vehicle cost; social influences; and PEV purchase intentions. EPRI and Southern California Edison administered the first survey in 2009 (EPRI ). The results from the 2009 administration led to survey refinements that were implemented in other areas and markets: Southern Company in 2010 (EPRI ) and Tennessee Valley Authority in 2010 (EPRI ). This report summarizes the data and results from the most recent survey instrument s 2012 administration for CenterPoint Energy (Houston, TX) and CPS Energy (San Antonio, TX). CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy are using the results to understand how their customers perceive PEVs, identify their customers infrastructure and charging expectations, develop preliminary forecasts of PEV adoption (Figure 1), and evaluate the effect of alternative influences on PEV adoption (Figure 2). EPRI, CenterPoint Energy, and CPS Energy believe that the survey findings will be useful to others who have interest in the rate and character of PEV adoption and charging and offer the research synthesis that follows in the spirit of collaboration. 1 Between December 2010 and August 2012, PEVs became widely available in two makes/models and approximately 43,000 PEVs were sold (Bradley Berman, Editor, HybridCars.com Hybrid Market Dashboard. Available at market-dashboard.html). In the coming several years, PEVs will be available in dozens of makes and models. Cumulative Adoptions Figure 1 Characterizing Potential PEV Adoption Cumulative Adoptions Adoption rate peaks Initially, few adoptions occur Market Potential Adoptions level off Figure 2 Potential Influences on PEV Adoption Table of Contents Time High Gas Prices Infrastructure Investment Base Case Subsidy Removed Time Key Findings... 3 What, When, and How Far Texans Drive... 4 Texans Perceptions of Electric Vehicles... 5 Electric Vehicle Survey Methodology... 6 Information About Electric Vehicles... 8 Texans Next Vehicle Choice... 9 Charging Information...12 When Texans Want to Charge...13 Willingness to Pay for 220V Home Charging...14 Willingness to Pay for Charging...16 Willingness to Pay for PEVs...17 What People Are Saying about PEVs...18 This report was prepared by Bernard Neenan, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Jason Kinnell, Veritas Economics. Cover photos courtesy of CenterPoint Energy, CPS Energy, and ECOtality. CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 2 September 2012

3 KEY FINDINGS The analysis combined responses from more than 2,000 Houston and San Antonio residents (referred to in the remainder of the report as Texans). The analysis provided insight into their understanding of PEVs, driving patterns, expectations of their utilities, and PEV preferences. Some of the key findings are as follows: Respondents are aware of electric vehicles: approximately 73% knew of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 83% were aware of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). A majority (68%) correctly thinks that currently PEVs are more costly and have less model availability than conventional vehicles. A minority (slightly more than 30%) believes that PEVs are less safe and reliable than similar gasoline models. Self-reported respondent driving patterns indicate that Texans will experience the typical advantages and limitations of PEVs. The majority (82%) travel less than 40 miles (typical PHEV range) to and from work with 96% traveling less than 80 miles (typical BEV range). Weekend-day driving miles are lower than weekday driving miles. Almost two-thirds of respondents take at least one relatively long driving trip per year. Respondents current vehicles are primarily mid-size or compact sedans and small or crossover SUVs (total slightly over 50%), with households on average having two vehicles. Respondents believe that utilities should provide fast-charging availability and charging flexibility, but their willingness to pay lags behind what these facilities are likely to cost. The expressed willingness to pay for faster at-home charging, public charging at work and other frequented places, and high-speed public charging stations is less than the current cost of providing those services. A majority (52%) of respondents said they prefer an unrestricted, fixed-price charging plan over plans that offer discounts of up to 16% for elective (but more expensive) or restricted night-time charging. More than half of respondents believe it is important for their utility to be involved in the development of a public charging infrastructure. When asked what vehicle they would purchase or lease, 8% indicated they would purchase a PEV (Figure 3). Respondents indicating that they are likely to purchase a PEV tend to: Plan on buying a new vehicle more than one year from now. Have undertaken PEV research. Believe that PEVs are as safe and reliable as gasoline vehicles and do not express concern about the range of PEVs. Identify themselves as early adopters of new technology or part of the early majority of adopters. Self-identify as being green, i.e., environmentally conscious. When people who do not own PEVs were asked what comes to mind when thinking about PEVs, their comments did not include many of the positive driving aspects noted by current PEV owners. This difference in perceptions indicates a substantial potential for market growth as PEV owners personally communicate their positive PEV driving experiences. Gasoline or Diesel 71% Battery-Only 3% Plug-In Hybrid 5% Figure 3 Engine Type of Next New Vehicle. Values reflect respondents first vehicle choice after reviewing vehicle information. Plug-In Electric Vehicles Hybrid-Electric 21% Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) are available in two types: Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Battery Electric Vehicles operate solely on electric power provided to the drive from the battery, which is rechargeable. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles can operate on both a rechargeable battery and gasoline, providing an extended driving range. Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 3 September 2012

4 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW FAR TEXANS DRIVE The survey asked Houston and San Antonio residents a number of questions about their current household fleet and driving behaviors. Specific topics included their daily commute, driving patterns, trip taking, and vehicle ownership. Daily Commute. Reported weekday commuting (to and from work) is highly skewed: 73% said that their commute is less than 30 miles, and the average is about 22 miles per day (Figure 4 the 0-miles category includes respondents who work at home [3%], take public transportation [1%], or are retired, unemployed, or do not work outside the home [17%]). Respondents report traveling an additional 33 miles per day for other purposes. PEVs, which can typically power the vehicle between 40 to 100 miles on a fully charged battery, have enough electric power to fulfill the majority of Texans everyday commutes. Driving Patterns. Miles driven is more than 1.5 times higher on weekdays than weekends (Figure 5). However, the distribution over highway speeds is about the same. More charging time may be required on weekday nights than on Saturday and Sunday nights. Extended Trips. Almost two-thirds of area residents report that they take at least one extended trip per year (over 250 miles one way) and some take several (Figure 6). Vehicle Types. The typical Houston and San Antonio household has two vehicles. The majority of these vehicles are compact or mid-size sedans (together a third of all Houston and San Antonio vehicles) or crossover or small SUVs (18%) (Figure 7). 0 miles Less than 9 miles 9 19 miles miles 14% 18% 20% 21% Weekday Driving Average Mileage 55.4 Weekend Day Driving Average Mileage % 43% miles 8% miles 6% miles 4% miles 3% miles 2% miles 1% miles 1% 60% 57% 100 miles or more 2% Miles at speeds more than 50 MPH Miles at speeds less than 50 MPH Figure 4 Typical Weekday Commute, Round Trip Figure 5 Driving Patterns: Work Commute and Other Travel 0 trips 1 5 trips 20% 64% Mid-size sedan Crossover SUV or Small SUV Compact sedan Large pick-up truck Full-size sedan 11% 9% 15% 18% 18% 6 10 trips trips 21+ trips 4% 2% 9% Large SUV Luxury sedan Sports car Minivan Small pick-up truck Subcompact sedan Unsure 2% 1% 5% 4% 4% 4% 9% Figure 6 Number of Yearly Trips More than 250 Miles One-Way Figure 7 Vehicle Types CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 4 September 2012

5 TEXANS PERCEPTIONS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES The survey asked respondents about their perceptions of PEVs. Figure 8 summarizes the responses to a variety of perception questions. More than 70% of respondents indicated that they are concerned (i.e., strongly agree or agree) about oil dependence. A majority of respondents also indicated that they think PEVs are more expensive than similar gasoline models (68%) and are not likely to be available in their preferred make and model (53%). On the other hand, respondents seem to have relatively few concerns about the reliability and safety of PEVs. Nearly seventy percent of respondents agreed with, or were neutral about, the statement that PEVs tend to be safer than similar gasoline models, and more than sixty percent of respondents agreed with, or were neutral about, the statement that PEVs are more reliable than similar gasoline models. Legend Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree I am concerned about oil dependence Cost of a PEV is higher than similar gasoline models PEVs are not likely to be in my preferred model PEVs can go beyond 50 miles without need to refuel/charge PEVs tend to be safer than similar gasoline models PEVs are more reliable than similar gasoline models Figure 8 Houston and San Antonio Residents Initial Perceptions of PEVs 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percent of Respondents Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 5 September 2012

6 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles ELECTRIC VEHICLE SURVEY METHODOLOGY The survey was administered to a sample of Houston and San Antonio residents in the ZIP Codes identified in Figure 9. The survey was designed to produce typical survey metrics, such as response frequencies and population averages, that are representative of the area served by CenterPoint Energy (Houston) and CPS Energy (San Antonio). The survey data also support statistical modeling to.identify economic metrics, such as market share, purchase likelihood, and willingness to pay at the respondent and aggregate level as a function of demographics, driving behavior, and social influences. Table 1 lists the information collected in each component of the survey. Legend ZIP Codes within the Houston MSA or San Antonio area Shading indicates number of qualified respondents in each ZIP Code. Outlines with no shading indicate ZIP Codes with no survey respondents Area Enlarged Survey Coverage Veritas Economic Consulting Figure 9 Study Area Table 1 Survey Components Screener Determine eligibility (must plan to purchase a vehicle in the next 5 years) Assess vehicle knowledge Purchase Intentions Perceptions of electric vehicles First and second vehicle choice Purchase likelihood Driving Behavior Characterization of current fleet and driving habits Charging Preferences At home capabilities Public charging: locations, ownership, and time (3 hours vs. 30 minutes) Willingness to pay for alternative charging options Information and Social Influences Source and influence of information New technology adoption behaviors Expectations of the utility Demographics Personal characteristics CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 6 September 2012

7 Responses were solicited from a household survey panel. Such panels facilitate completing surveys quickly and can provide results that are reasonably comparable to more complex approaches, such as random digit dialing. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to be at least 18 years old, plan to buy or lease their next vehicle within 5 years, and be a household decision-maker concerning vehicle purchases. Qualified respondents completed a 20-minute internet survey about electric vehicles. Questions ranged from respondents next new vehicle choice to the effect of information and social influences. Figure 10 provides an example survey question that elicited respondents preferred charging locations. Respondents answer by clicking on the radio buttons. Like all of the questions, respondents could access information at any time via hyperlinks. As Figure 10 shows, respondents had the ability to click on the Vehicle Type Descriptions hyperlink. When clicked, a respondent would be directed to a window with PEV information (see Figure 11). Results from this and similar questions include population percentages and their relationship to PHEV charging and purchase preferences. Electric Vehicle Survey Highlights Internet-based survey administered to 2,080 residential electricity customers residing within the CenterPoint Energy (Houston) and CPS Energy (San Antonio) service territories and neighboring communities (Figure 9). Respondents belong to commercial web panels. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to: Be at least 18 years old Plan to buy or lease their next vehicle in the next five years Be a household decision maker concerning vehicle purchase. The survey had six major components (Table 1). The survey included a variety of question types, including drop-down menus, multiple choice, and sliding scales. Vehicle Type Descriptions Plug-In Hybrid Electric Electrical System Requirements Assume you owned a Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicle. For the listed locations, indicate whether you would be likely to charge the vehicle at that location, assuming all would provide a full charge within 3 hours at the same price. Locations No Yes Government offices/buildings Public parking garage On street, metered parking Coffee shops At your place of work Restaurants Shopping centers/malls Grocery stores Places of worship (e.g., churches/temples) Airports Fitness centers PROGRESS Figure 10 Example of Preferred Charging Location Question Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 7 September 2012

8 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles INFORMATION ABOUT ELECTRIC VEHICLES Prior to the survey s first administration in 2009, EPRI conducted focus groups to support the survey development. Results from the focus groups showed that consumers provided opinions and preferences based on factual misconceptions about PEVs. Misconceptions are a product of the fact that PEVs are relatively new to the market and, therefore, consumers do not have extensive familiarity with them. For this reason, when eliciting preferences and opinions about PEVs through a widely administered survey, it is important to provide the respondent with a fact-based portrayal of PEVs and their features by distinguishing them from conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. To accomplish this, the survey information treatment section describes important differences between electric vehicles (i.e., battery only versus plug-in hybrids). Figure 11 presents the PEV information provided to the respondents during the survey. This information was provided before PEV questions were asked and was accessible during the survey through hyperlinks (see Figure 10). Vehicle Type Gasoline Hybrid Electric Plug-In Hybrid Electric Battery-Only Electric Fuel Source Gasoline Gasoline Gasoline & Electricity Only Electricity How It Works Vehicle is powered by a standard gasoline engine Vehicle is primarily powered by a gasoline engine that is assisted by electric motor(s) and a battery that is charged while the vehicle drives. Vehicle does not charge from an outlet. Vehicle has a larger battery that is charged from an electrical outlet. Vehicle runs primarily on electricity for short trips (40 miles or less) and uses the gasoline engine for longer trips. The battery needs charging every day or so, but the vehicle can run continuously on gasoline alone. Vehicle is powered exclusively by a large battery that is charged from an electrical outlet. It has no backup power source. Mileage on a per gallon of fuel basis Varies widely, up to 30 mpg for a typical sedan Up to 50% better, mpg for a sedan These vehicles run only on gasoline Up to 100% better, mpg This vehicle runs on both gasoline and electricity 100 miles per full charge No gasoline backup Figure 11 Educational Overview CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 8 September 2012

9 TEXANS NEXT VEHICLE CHOICE At the beginning of the survey, prior to reviewing the PEV information, respondents were asked if they plan to purchase a new or used vehicle in the next five years. As Figure 12 illustrates, 77 percent of respondents plan to purchase a new vehicle in the next 5 years and 23 percent plan to purchase a used vehicle. Because PEVs are new to the market and sales will be predominantly new vehicles over the next few years, the survey limited the recruitment of used car buyers to 23% of total respondents. After reviewing the PEV information, the survey asked used car buyers if they still expect to purchase a used car in the next five years or if they would switch to purchasing a new car. Eleven percent of the initial used car buyers stated they would purchase a new vehicle after they received the PEV information. In addition to asking whether the respondent plans to buy a new or used vehicle, the survey also asked respondents what engine type they plan to buy. Figure 13 presents the engine types of each group s next vehicle choice. As Figure 13 shows, new car buyers and used car buyers overwhelmingly (72% or greater) selected a gasoline or diesel engine for their next vehicle. In contrast, used car buyers that switched to new car buyers after reviewing the PEV information are almost equally distributed among the three engine types for their next vehicle. Thirty-six percent of the respondents New 77% Used 23% Figure 12 Texans Plans to Buy New vs. Used Vehicles Before They Were Presented with Information about PEVs that switched from used to new vehicle state they would purchase a hybrid-electric vehicle, followed by 34 percent that would choose to purchase a PEV, and 30 percent who would buy a gasoline or diesel vehicle (center panel of Figure 13). In addition to engine types of the next vehicle choice, the survey presented the new car buyers with a list of vehicle profiles and asked them to select the one they would choose for their next new vehicle. New Car Buyers n=1,601 Used Car Buyers that Switched to New Car Buyers after Reviewing PEV Information n=53 Used Car Buyers that Remained Used Car Buyers after Reviewing PEV Information n= % 100% 100% 75% 72% 75% 75% 78% 50% 50% 50% 30% 36% 34% 25% 21% 25% 25% 17% 7% 5% 0% Gasoline or Diesel Hybrid- Electric Plug-In Electric 0% Gasoline or Diesel Hybrid- Electric Plug-In Electric 0% Gasoline or Diesel Hybrid- Electric Plug-In Electric Figure 13 Comparison of New Car Buyer and Used Car Buyer Intentions after Reviewing PEV Information Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 9 September 2012

10 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles The profiles included price, operating cost, engine type, and body style. To reflect the widespread availability of internal combustion vehicles, they were represented as the combination of a generic body style (subcompact, compact, mid-size sedan, full-size sedan, luxury sedan, sports car, small or crossover SUV, large SUV, small pickup truck, large pickup truck, or minivan) and an engine type of gasoline/diesel. To appropriately represent the relative availability of PEVs, they were limited to the eight models that are either currently available or expected to be available in the near future. Engine type of PEVs was specified according to what is appropriate for the vehicle (i.e., Volt is a PHEV and Leaf is a BEV). Figure 14 summarizes respondents next new vehicle choices, sorted from highest to lowest. The label on the horizontal axis indicates the generic or specific body style. The colors of the associated vertical bars represent the vehicle s engine type (see legend). As the figure shows, small or crossover SUVs with gasoline or diesel engines are respondents most popular next new vehicle choice: about 16% of respondents chose them for their next new vehicle. The majority of Houston and San Antonio new car buyers will continue to purchase gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles (blue bars). However, just. over 8% of respondents selected PEVs (green bars) for their next new vehicle with 3% choosing the Chevrolet Volt, 2% choosing the Plug-In Prius, just under 2% choosing the Nissan Leaf, and a little more than 1% choosing the Mitsubishi imiev. (Some respondents also selected the Plug-In Ford Focus, the Tesla Model S, the Plug-In Toyota RAV4, and the Tesla Model X.) Figure 14 also compares survey respondents next new vehicle choice with the vehicle it will replace. The black dashes (above or below each bar) illustrate the percentage of current vehicles for each vehicle type (i.e., engine type and body-style combination). For example, the black dash above the blue compact sedan bar (fourth from the left in Figure 14) indicates that 15% of respondents currently have a gasoline or diesel compact sedan that they plan to replace with their next new vehicle choice. By comparison, the height of the blue compact sedan bar indicates that only 7% of respondents will choose a gasoline or diesel compact sedan for their next new vehicle. In addition to switching to the now available PEVs, new car buyers were more likely to replace their gasoline and diesel SUVs, sedans, and pickup trucks with hybrid mid-size sedans and small and crossover SUVs. Percent of New Vehicle Buyers 20% 16% 12% 8% 4% Current vehicle Next vehicle choice Legend Vehicle Engine Type Next New Vehicle Gasoline or Diesel Hybrid-Electric Plug-In Electric Current Vehicle 0% *Small SUV category includes Crossover SUVs. Vehicle Type Figure 14 Next New Vehicle Choice by Vehicle Type After Reviewing Vehicle Information CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 10 September 2012

11 Influences on PEV Choice A statistical model was developed to estimate new car market shares and the relationship between respondent characteristics and the likelihood the respondent selected one of the eight PEVs. The statistical model was also used to identify the key individual-level traits (personal characteristics, behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions) of those customers who chose a PEV as their next new vehicle. Figure 15 summarizes the model results. The pie chart depicts the statistically significant variables among the respondents individual-level traits that are related to choosing a PEV in the survey exercise. All of the traits presented in Figure 15 have a positive effect on plans to choose a PEV, and their relative influences are shown by the percentages (or wedge sizes in the pie chart). This means, for example, that the relative influences on PEV purchasing intentions of the two traits scaled at 13% ( self-identifying as green and as an early adopter or early majority ) are the same. Three other traits also have significantly positive, but relatively less, effect on choosing a PEV. The two most influential traits, scaled at 22% and 15%, are: (1) being influenced by the availability of public fast-charging stations, and (2) intention to use charging at shopping locations. Although this work is only preliminary, it suggests a methodological approach that will help identify and locate likely PEV buyers and thereby better focus utilities customer education and infrastructure planning efforts. A useful extension to this is developing a deeper understanding of how these stated purchases will reflect actual purchases. Another area for further research is improving the statistical Would charge at shopping centers/malls 15% modeling that links available geographic-specific information with PEV purchase likelihood to improve location-specific PEV adoption forecasting. Evaluating PEV Choices Respondents were asked to select one of 28 vehicle types for their next new vehicle. Vehicle profiles specified engine type, body style, price, and annual operating cost. Respondents who chose a PEV as their next new vehicle tend to: Be influenced by the availability of public fast-charging stations Indicate that they would charge at shopping centers/ malls Self-identify as early adopter or early majority Self-identify as being green Be students Have researched PEVs on the internet in the last six months Plan on purchasing their next new vehicle more than one year from now. Not have concerns about the safety, reliability, and range of PEVs. Student 14% Influenced by availability of public fast-charging stations 22% Self-identifies as early adopter or early majority 13% Does not have concerns about the safety, reliability, and range of PEVs 7% Self-identifies as being green 13% Plans to buy next vehicle in more than 1 year from now 7% Researched PEVs on the internet in the last 6 months 9% Figure 15 Summary of Statistical Results Characteristics That Are Positively Related to PEV Choice Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 11 September 2012

12 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles CHARGING INFORMATION During the survey s development, focus group participants also indicated that they had a limited understanding of PEV charging. This meant that obtaining useful results related to charging preferences required explaining charging options to respondents. The survey provided respondents with information describing how PEVs batteries can be charged at home and at public locations, as depicted in the right panel of this page and described in Table 2. How to Charge Electric Vehicles To charge the vehicle s battery, you will be able to plug it into a standard (110 volt) outlet, like you have at home. The plug and cord are stored within the vehicle itself. Table 2 summarizes the charging information that the survey provided to respondents across the following three levels: Level 1 (110 volt AC). Level 2 (220 volt AC). DC Fast Charging. The third charging possibility described in Table 2 (DC Fast Charging) is available at some public charging stations. Together, these characteristics provide another opportunity to study charging convenience and cost trade-offs. Some models may give you the option to use a special 220- volt charging station installed at your home, which allows you to charge your vehicle three times as fast as a standard (110 volt) outlet. The 220-volt charger uses the same voltage and about the same power as an electric clothes dryer. Table 2 PEV Charging Time Plug-In Electric Hybrid Battery Electric Vehicle Miles on a full battery charge Charging service equipment Standard electrical outlet (110 volt) Time for a full charge 8 hours 24 hours Upgrade to 220 volt outlet 3 hours 8 hours Public fast-charging station (high voltage) 30 minutes 30 minutes Some public charging stations will offer much faster charging, but at a higher price. After presenting respondents with charging information, the survey asked respondents a number of questions about alternative charging options, including: When they would prefer to charge at home. How much they would be willing to pay for a 220 volt home charging station. How much they would be willing to pay for charging outside of their home. Photo provided by NRG Energy s evgo Network. CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 12 September 2012

13 WHEN TEXANS WANT TO CHARGE When PEV owners charge their vehicles will have a substantial impact on the cost of generating electricity and hence the value realized from transitioning to PEVs. In addition, coincident charging by many households in the same neighborhood may stress the local delivery system, possibly necessitating equipment upgrades. To aid in assessing consumer values relative to the timing of charging, respondents were provided with descriptions of three at-home charging plans and asked to select their preferred charging plan. Descriptions of these plans are shown in Table 3. Respondents evaluated three alternative charging plans: anytime, time of use, and night-time only. Table 3 PEV Total Annual Fuel Expenditure Savings Under Alternative Charging Plans Plan A Plan B Plan C Plan Description Anytime Time of Use Night-Time Only Charging Provisions 24/7 charging at a fixed and uniform rate ($/kwh) Discount for charging from 9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Charging only from 9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Savings ($/Year) $1,342 $1,500 $1,531 Battery-Only Electric Vehicle Savings ($/Year) $1,580 $1,790 $1,832 Because savings are associated with charging more during the evening hours (listed for each plan in Table 3), choosing among the three charging plans required respondents to trade off convenience and cost. Plan costs were derived to be generally representative of retail electricity prices and supply costs (for hypothetical evening rates) in the region. Estimated savings per year were based on driving an average of 12,000 miles per year with gasoline at $3.00 per gallon and mileage of 24 MPG for an internal combustion engine vehicle. Figure 16 presents Texans charging plan preferences. As the figure indicates, Texans generally preferred flexibility over savings. Charging Plan A Anytime Charging Plan B Time of Use Charging Plan C Night-Time Only 18% 30% Figure 16 Texans Charging Plan Preference 52% More than half of respondents (52%) chose the plan that allows them to charge at any time at a fixed and uniform rate. The majority of the respondents (52%) prefer the Anytime charging plan (Plan A). These results indicate that it may be challenging to affect when home charging occurs. When Do Texans Prefer to Charge at Home? Summary Results Respondents chose their preferred at-home charging plans from one of three alternatives (Table 3). The three plans vary in cost based on when PEVs are charged. Charging restrictions ranged from being able to charge anytime to being able to charge only at night. The greater the restrictions placed on when customers are allowed to charge, the greater the annual savings. However, the marginal cost savings for Plans B and C are small relative to the savings that result from PEV ownership and charging at conventional tariff rates (Plan A). More than half of respondents (52%) chose the plan that allows them to charge at any time at a fixed and uniform rate. Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 13 September 2012

14 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR 220V HOME CHARGING Survey respondents were asked to indicate how much they would be willing to pay to install a 220 volt charging station at their home. The home charging stations were portrayed as reducing the time for a full charge (for a nearly depleted battery) by about two-thirds: from 8 to 3 hours for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and from 24 to 8 hours for a battery-only electric vehicle. The graphic in Figure 17 plots the response, with the willingness to pay (WTP) (one-time installation cost) amount on the vertical axis and the cumulative percentage of respondents willing to pay above that amount on the horizontal axis. of PEV ownership. Developing a better understanding of what underlies the comparatively low demand (relative to cost) for 220V home charging upgrades along with appropriate outreach or installation programs may be useful in avoiding this outcome. Each point on the curve corresponds to a specific WTP and indicates the percentage of respondents who would be willing to pay at least that amount. The WTP graph in Figure 17 suggests that consumers are generally not ready to pay a substantial amount for faster, at-home charging. Only 22% will pay $500 or more. In today s market circumstances, installing a 220V charging station might cost as little as $500, but early experience is that the cost for installation in a single-family home is more likely to be $1,500 to $2,500. Installation at an apartment building with outdoor parking may be substantially higher. This divergence of perceived value and actual cost may foretell unfulfilled expectations by early adopters. Some may decline the faster charging only to discover that they need it to realize the full benefits Willingness to Pay $2,000 $1,500 $1,000 $500 Less than 10% are willing to pay at least $1,000 to install a 220V upgrade system in their home for charging PEVs. Over three-quarters of respondents (78%) are not willing to pay $500 to install a 220V upgrade system in their home for charging PEVs. $0 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percent of Respondents Figure 17 How Much Are Respondents Willing to Pay for the Home Installation of a 220V Upgrade? How Much are Texans Willing to Pay for 220V Home Charging Stations? Summary Results Respondents indicated how willing they are to pay for an installation of a 220V upgrade at home for faster charging. Over half of respondents would choose to charge anytime at a fixed rate. About 22% of respondents are willing to pay at least $500 to install the 220V upgrade (Figure 20). Willingness to pay for the installation is mostly influenced by expectations of public charging infrastructure and demographics (Figure 21). Over half of respondents believe it is important for their electric utility to develop public charging infrastructure. Respondents are generally not willing to pay what it would cost to install a 220V upgrade system in their homes. CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 14 September 2012

15 Influences on Willingness to Pay for a 220V Home Charging Station WTP for 220V charging was further evaluated by statistically modeling the impact of a number of influences on the WTP for 220V charging. The pie chart below (Figure 18) depicts the percentage of explainable variation in WTP responses that can be attributed to each category of respondent information. The largest wedge of influence is the respondents expectation regarding public charging infrastructure (31%). Those who indicated that they expect utilities to play a key role in assuring an abundance of charging choices expressed a higher WTP for a 220V home charging station, while those who see a limited role for utilities indicate lower WTPs. Vehicle Purchase Characteristics 4% No Concerns about the Safety, Reliability, and Range of PEVs 5% Social Influences on Vehicle Purchase 11% PEV Research 13% Driving Behavior and Parking Characteristics 14% Early Adoption 3% Charging Plan B 3% Public Charging Infrastructure Influences and Uses 31% Demographics 16% Figure 18 Summary of Statistical Model Results: Numerous Factors Influence Willingness to Pay for the Home Installation of a 220V Upgrade home charging upgrades and their perceived value. The survey also asked respondents to evaluate the importance of a number of different PEV-related efforts that their electric utility could undertake, including each of the following: Developing a public charging infrastructure. Offering home-charging station installation and maintenance. Providing for in-home display of the status of ongoing charging. Providing information about electric vehicles. Offering home audits. As Figure 19 shows, having their utility develop a public charging infrastructure was important to 64% of respondents, and having the utility offer home-charging station installation and maintenance was important to 61% of respondents. Viewed alone, these results indicate that Texans have substantial expectations regarding their electric utility s role in supporting PEVs. However, when viewed with the statistical model results, it appears that respondents who believe utilities should be involved in infrastructure development and should offer home installation are willing to pay more for these services and have a higher likelihood of purchasing a PEV. Legend Develop a public charging infrastructure Offer charging station installation and maintenance Important Somewhat Important Not Important 64% 61% 29% 31% 8% 8% Demographics, driving behavior, parking situation, and PEV research are also important predictors of WTP for at-home charging. The direction of influence (not depicted) is expected and consistent with previous EPRI research. Individuals with higher household incomes indicate that they are willing to pay more for at-home charging than those with lower household incomes. Respondents who are male, older, or own their residence tend to be willing to pay more for at-home charging. To some degree, features that underlie higher WTP for home charging align with those of likely PEV purchasers (discussed later). This has the potential to mitigate somewhat the previously mentioned divergence between costs of providing at Provide for in-home display of on-going charging Provide information about Electric Vehicles Offer home audits 47% 46% 43% 39% 41% 44% Figure 19 Texans Expectations of Their Electric Utilities 14% 13% 14% Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 15 September 2012

16 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR CHARGING Willingness to pay questions elicit survey respondents preferences regarding how much extra they would pay to have additional features or more of a specific feature. Figure 20 provides an example of one of the survey s WTP questions. As the figure shows, the respondent slides the indicator along the horizontal line to indicate how much she would pay to charge at work. In the figure, the indicated amount is $.40/kWh, which is equivalent to $3.00/gallon for gasoline. This is a premium of $.30/kWh more than what he/ she would pay to charge at home ($.10/kWh). As Figure 20 shows, the question s sliding scale made the $/kwh to $/gallon equivalent conversion for each price the respondents selected. Figure 21 depicts the results from the question presented in Figure 20. Each point on the line corresponds to a WTP level (vertical axis). The horizontal axis indicates the percentage of respondents willing to pay at least that amount. As the figure shows, 39% of respondents are willing to pay $0.10 more than their home rate to charge at work ($0.20 total), which corresponds to $1.50 per gallon for gasoline (indicated by the vertical axis on the right-hand side of Figure 21). Approximately 15% of respondents are willing to pay $0.30 more than their home rate to charge at work ($0.40 total in Figure 24), which corresponds to $3.00 per gallon for gasoline. These results support that virtually all Texans are willing to pay more than their home electricity rates to charge at work. Many are willing to pay substantially more. An implication is that there is the potential for significant value in providing PEV charging at work. Considering how to best meet this demand and developing a deeper understanding of underlying factors (e.g., relationship between commute distance and WTP for charging at work) are areas for future research. Willingness to Pay ($/kwh) $1.00 $0.80 $0.60 $0.40 $0.20 Almost 40% of respondents are willing to pay $0.10 more than their home rate to charge at work, which corresponds to $1.50 per gallon for gasoline. $0.00 $0.00 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percent of Respondents Figure 21 Texans Willingness to Pay to Charge at Work $7.50 $6.00 $4.50 $3.00 $1.50 Willingness to Pay ($/gallon) Vehicle Type Descriptions Plug-In Hybrid Electric Electrical System Requirements If a 3-hour full charge is available where you work, how much would you be willing to pay to charge at work? Assume that your current home electricity rate is $0.10 per kwh, which is equal to roughly paying $0.75 per gallon for gasoline on a per-mile basis. Please click on the scale below and drag the red marker to the price that represents how much you would be willing to pay to charge at work. $0.10 $1.00 $0.40 per kwh ($3.00 per gallon) I would not be willing to pay at a price within this range to charge at work. PROGRESS Figure 20 Example of Willingness to Pay Question CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 16 September 2012

17 WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR PEVS When selecting a new vehicle, new car buyers were asked to make a choice from a list of 28 alternative vehicle profiles. These profiles included the engine type, body style, average purchase price, and annual operating cost. The new car buyers who did not choose a plug-in electric vehicle (i.e., those that chose a gasoline, diesel, or hybrid-electric as their next vehicle 92%) were asked how much more or less they would be willing to pay if the vehicle they chose were available as a plug-in electric vehicle. The survey provided respondents with a scale that ranged from being willing to pay $0 to $50,000 more than their selected vehicle s current price and being willing to pay $0 to $50,000 less than their selected vehicle s price. Figure 22 summarizes the responses. Forty-six percent of these respondents would be willing to pay more if the vehicle they selected were available as a PEV, 19 percent of respondents are willing to pay less, and 35 percent are not willing to pay more or less. Figure 23 summarizes just how much more or less these respondents stated that they are willing to pay. Approximately 10% of these respondents would be willing to pay at least $10,000 more for a PEV. In comparison, just over 10% of these respondents would be willing to pay between $0 and $12,500 less for a PEV. Not willing to pay more or less 35% Willing to pay less 19% Figure 22 Respondents Willingness to Pay for a PEV Willing to pay more 46% $50,000 Amount Willing to Pay (More or Less) $37,500 $25,000 $12,500 -$12,500 -$25,000 Willing to Pay More 46% Not Willing to Pay More or Less 35% $0 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% -$37,500 -$50,000 Willing to Pay Less 19% Percent of Respondents* * This question was asked only of those respondents who did not choose a PEV as their next new vehicle (92%). Figure 23 Details of Respondents Willingness to Pay for PEVs Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 17 September 2012

18 TEXAS PLUGS IN Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations of and Purchase Intentions for Plug-In Electric Vehicles WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT PEVS Now that PEVs are on the market, current PEV owners are sharing their PEV ownership and driving experiences. Twenty-one percent of survey respondents indicated that they had spoken with a PEV owner. The general population has also started to get insights into PEVs owners experiences through some of the manufacturers marketing campaigns. General Motors has collected information from current Volt owners about their ownership and driving experience, and they have presented some of that information as a word cloud. 2 Figure 24 highlights the words Volt owners use most frequently when they describe their PEV ownership and driving experience The size of each word in a word cloud relates to the frequency with which the word is used. As Figure 24 shows, not only do Volt owners use positive statements to describe their PEVs, but the statement owners use most is that the Volt is fun to drive. In comparison, survey respondents were asked to describe what words come to mind when they think about electric vehicles. Figure 25 presents the results of a word cloud from the responses that all of the survey respondents provided prior to receiving any information about electric vehicles. The responses of all the survey participants Implications of What Different People Say About PEVs Survey respondents were asked to provide the first word or statement that came to mind about PEVs at the beginning and end of the survey. Before receiving information about PEVs, survey respondents most frequently stated that PEVs are expensive, have limited range, and are slow (Figure 25). Respondents who selected a PEV as their next new vehicle focused on the economic and environmental advantages of PEVs: they provide cost-savings and are green (Figure 26). In contrast, the most frequent statements made by current Volt owners focus on the emotional and visceral aspects of the car purchase and driving experience: PEVs are fun to drive, comfortable, quiet, and smooth (Figure 24). great innovative technology fantastic high quality comfortable good looking amazing American love it green smooth electric well designed well engineered high tech America efficient fun good acceleration handles well well built awesome extended quiet range environmentally friendly luxury fuel efficient great looking agile handling user friendly stylish exciting beautiful environmentally responsible revolutionary sporty acceleration no gas excellent future sleek perfect Figure 24 Summary of the Most Frequent Responses Volt Owners Provide When Asked to Describe Their PEV Ownership and Driving Experience 2 CenterPoint Energy and CPS Energy Electric Vehicle Survey 18 September 2012

19 Figure 25 Responses of General Population When Asked What They Think About Electric Vehicles show that the general population thinks much differently about PEVs than current PEV owners. The two highest frequency responses from the general population relate to perceptions that may be barriers to electric vehicle ownership respondents state that they are expensive and have limited range. By comparison, Figure 26 presents the responses from survey respondents who selected a PEV as their next new vehicle. These responses differ from the general population s. Respondents who chose a PEV as their next new vehicle tend to focus on positive aspects of the vehicle. Potential PEV customers are thinking about different attributes of PEVs than the attributes that current owners most frequently provide when describing their ownership and driving experience. Statements from current PEV owners (Figure 24) focus on attributes that are related to PEVs providing a better driving experience than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. PEVs have quick acceleration and are smooth and quiet they re fun to drive. By comparison, survey respondents who indicate that they will choose a PEV for their next vehicle (Figure 26), but do not yet have the experience of vehicle ownership, focus on the economic and environmental aspect of vehicle ownership: they provide cost savings and are green. None of the high frequency statements focus on the aspects of PEV ownership that are related to the more emotional aspects of car purchase decisions and the ownership experiences. Rather, they focus on the more pragmatic and social aspect of vehicle ownership. Figures illustrate differences in what current owners, potential future owners, and the general public think about PEVs. These figures indicate that current drivers of internal combustion engine vehicles focus on ownership costs, range limitations, and social concerns when considering PEVs. However, current PEV owners describe a number of additional positive features. Clearly, potential PEV owners are not yet aware of the positive driving experiences that current owners are enjoying. As the PEV market develops, we can expect current drivers of internal combustion engine vehicles to be drawn to the PEV market by increased make and model availability, decreased market uncertainty, and positive word of mouth effects none of which are reflected in their current thoughts about PEVs. 2 See Mike Robinson Fun Factors into Volt Purchase. Available at for GM s complete word cloud. Figure 26 Survey Responses from People Selecting a PEV as Their Next New Vehicle Houston and San Antonio Residents Expectations for PEVs 19 September 2012

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