Utilities will need to ensure their distribution systems are ready for electric vehicles (EVs) because an overwhelming number of drivers envision they will charge their EVs at home, new Chartwell research shows.
Coinciding with the launch of its EV Customer Strategy Research Council and forthcoming EV conference, Chartwell has conducted a study that reveals 89% of consumers would be “likely” or “extremely likely” to charge their plug-in EVs at home. In fact, the recent survey of 1,500 North American consumers shows that 81% of that group would fall into the extremely-likely category. This was a far greater percentage than consumers who foresee external charging stations as the primary means for fuel.
“We’ve uncovered some interesting findings,” said Stacey Bailey, a Sr. Research Analyst with Chartwell. “You have the vast majority of consumers believing their home will be the primary charging site, and most of those respondents say they will plug in during off-peak, overnight hours, which would be preferable for most utilities.
“Still, we did find a notable percentage of consumers who say they will plug-in during on-peak times, which could potentially stress the distribution system.”
The number of EVs on the road also remains to be seen, and this, for many utilities, is the bigger issue. As part of its EV study Chartwell is also interviewing utilities, who see consumer acceptance and getting information on EV purchases and adoption in their service territories as a bigger issue than any potential stress on the grid.