Greater charge point availability a key demand as EV ownership soars
NewMotion’s EV Drivers Survey, the largest study among EV drivers in Europe, reveals that despite a surge in on-street charging, more EV drivers worry about access to charging infrastructure
- Six in ten drivers say smart charging is key to encouraging further EV adoption
- Almost half (48%) say that increased availability of public charge points will better the charging experience
- Having multiple charge cards is (slowly) declining, with almost a quarter (24%) of EV drivers needing 4+ cards in 2020, to only 15% in 2021
- Better range is the most important factor for mass EV adoption, according to drivers, while fast charging is a top priority for improving the charging experience
- An increasing number of EV drivers (54%) worry about a shortage of charge points
Wednesday 12th May, 2021 – Six in ten (60%) EV drivers agree that smart charging is key to encouraging further EV adoption, as speed and energy efficiency remains a key factor to improving the charging experience. These findings from NewMotion, a leader in smart EV charging solutions and a Shell group company, form part of the NewMotion EV Driver Survey 2021, the largest survey of EV drivers in Europe. It also found that more than half (54%) are worried about the lack of available charge points in the near future – up by 9% when compared to 2020 – as EV demand continues to test Europe’s charging infrastructure capabilities.
Today and tomorrow’s EV Drivers
With EV adoption across Europe continuing to increase, it looks like there is no going back for current EV owners: just 4% say that their next vehicle will be petrol-or diesel-powered. This is down by 10% on last year, as more EVs come onto the market.
Those drivers are switched on to the urgency of needing to adopt greener lifestyles, with 58% choosing an EV for sustainability reasons versus just 34% for financial reasons. The driving experience itself, though, is almost as important, being a top-two reason for 54% of drivers.
Improving the charging experience
When asked about keeping the trend towards EV adoption going, one in five current EV drivers said better range would be the most important factor for achieving mass EV adoption, and over half put it in their top three. Better charge point availability came in at second overall and almost half (45%) put it in their top three, followed closely by lower vehicle costs (37%). With more people switching to e-mobility, it’s therefore essential that charging infrastructure is installed at a rapid pace, both publicly and by businesses, to prevent people seeing this as a hurdle to EV adoption.
In addition, after asking respondents what three changes would most improve their own charging experience, better availability of public charge points is, unsurprisingly, high on this list too, revealing a parallel between EV driver’s own experiences and their expectations towards mass adoption. This is beaten out, however, by fast charging, which featured at the top of over half (52%) of the respondents’ lists, demonstrating a clear appetite amongst existing EV drivers for shorter charge times at all locations.
Overall, ease of use remains a key reason (47%) for choosing a particular charge point. This is followed by the device’s cost and how quickly it charges, at 32% and 30% respectively, with charging speed seeing a 5% increase in importance for drivers, when compared to last year.
Melanie Lane, CEO of NewMotion says: “In this year’s EV Driver Survey, a new profile of EV driver has emerged. These drivers believe that e-mobility is the future, but better access to charging infrastructure remains crucial for the next stage of EV adoption. We’re pleased to see that there is a high willingness for smart charging, since this plays an important role in making the switch to electric. It was also widely recognised amongst respondents that using renewable energy is vital to reach the smarter, cleaner future for which we strive. In order to support this energy transition, NewMotion and parent company Shell are investing in extensive infrastructure at home at work and on-the-go and are working hard to provide smart charging solutions that help drivers and businesses alike manage their energy consumption.
Putting EV charging to work, at work
When asked where respondents have a charge point available, personal charge points dominate, with 68% of respondents having one installed. However, they are closely followed by on-street charging options. In addition, 84% of drivers have private parking available, yet just 68% actually do have a personal charge point, revealing that there is still scope for more home charging installation.
For some, of course, home charging either won’t be possible or won’t be preferable. This increases the need for access to charging infrastructure elsewhere – at the workplace, retail locations, and on-the-go. Yet, according to the research, businesses across Europe still have a way to go in supporting their employees transition to e-mobility, with the need to invest in more charging infrastructure greater than ever before. Netherlands (50%) and the UK (44%) lead the way in workplace charge point availability, closely followed by France (38%) and Belgium (38%), while Germany remains the lowest at 32%.
NewMotion and its parent company, Shell, have global ambitions to improve the access to charging infrastructure. By 2025, the companies aim to operate more than half a million charge points for businesses, fleets and at retail sites, and customer homes.
Better access to on-the-go charging
Given how common having multiple cards is, with 76% of EV drivers having two or more, it is not surprising that there is a huge desire among EV drivers for network interoperability. Multiple card ownership has, however, declined year-on-year – which is perhaps explained by the fact that 69% of drivers say their main charge card gives them access to all of the charging locations they need. With even more interoperability agreements in the future, this should only improve further.
On-street charge points are the first choice for many for charging their EV, being used by more than six in ten (62%) drivers. Parking garages and shopping and leisure destinations are also popular, with both being used by nearly half (46%) of all drivers. The importance of encouraging interoperability across charging networks is however underlined by the fact that 57% of drivers agree that charging availability influences where they shop. As a result, businesses should think of investing in charging infrastructure to retain customers as EV adoption rises.