Kurani, Kenneth S., Thomas S. Turrentine, Daniel Sperling (1994) Electric Vehicle Owners: Tests of Assumptions and Lessons on Future Behavior from 100 Electric Vehicle Owners in California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-94-34
This study reports the results of 100 phone interviews with pre-mass market electric vehicle (EV) owners/innovators. The goals of the study are: to characterize current EV owners; to examine their role in the development of an EV market in California; and to learn from their EV use patterns about potential future EV recharging patterns. Taken together these goals allow us to assess the appropriateness of assumptions regarding future EV owners made in past studies of EV markets. The study suggests that EV owners are innovators in the classic sense: they experiment with the use of electric vehicles and promote those vehicles to community leaders and the general public. Further though, there are many entrepreneurs in our study, who are participating in the new EV industry. Our sample of EV owners follow some well known expectations about who will be EV owners – they are relatively affluent, educated, homeowners. Their use patterns confirm some assumptions of previous studies, but also raise important questions. The households have other gasoline vehicles for long distance travel, and the EV is used primarily for errands and commuting. The range of the EV is sufficient for most travel, although most participants would like more range and more reliable batteries. The desired range depends primarily upon the EV driver's activity space, not prior preferences for gasoline vehicles. Their EVs are recharged primarily at night, but they often recharge their vehicles during the day and often recharge away from home.