Published on September 28, 2019 |
by Zachary Shahan
28. September 2019 by Zachary Shahan
We hosted a National Drive Electric Week event last Saturday in Sarasota, Florida. It was arranged a lot at the last minute, but we were lucky to have dozens of electric drivers registered. The bulk of the attendees were Tesla owners, which you may have noticed from pictures like the one I used here on CleanTechnica in recent days. Exactly half of all vehicles, 20 of them, were Tesla Model 3s. Tesla Model S and Model X accounted for another quarter of the cars. In total, 30 of the 40 cars were Teslas. The only non-Tesla vehicle that had more than one place on the item was the Chevy Bolt – 3 registered
– Dealer of Happiness (@dealer_of_happy) September 22 , 2019
It was fascinating to see so many fresh Tesla Model 3s in one place. At the event a year ago, they were still a rare sight and basically a novelty. How different it is today! As I've said several times in the past week or two to people in the area, the Model 3 seems more and more like the new Toyota Camry or Toyota Corolla. I see several a day, which is a big deal when you remember that they are almost all less than one year old. In fact, many are less than three months old!
The car goes mainstream, thanks to a combination of: the best technology, the best NHTSA safety scores in history, poor performance and driving quality, its pure zero-emission essence, long range, super-fast charging and a cost of ownership similar to … a Toyota Camry or Toyota Corolla.
While I gathered so many EV drivers in one place, I thought it would be fun to ask them a handful of questions. Well, actually I got the idea when Johnna Crider told her she was going to a National Drive Electric Week event in Louisiana and asked if I had any suggestions. I thought it would be interesting to run a survey with as many participants as possible. When I realized that we would be attending events in several places, I figured it would be especially interesting to run the same survey everywhere and compare the results.
these are not scientifically sound investigations. The number of respondents at each location was below 30, and there are a number of other potential problems. Still, it's fun to look at the results! These small groups of early drivers and enthusiasts of electric vehicles are interesting focus groups to understand or speculate a bit about technology today, where the market is heading, and how things have changed in recent years.
In general, participants in our event in Sarasota had a feeling that the market was really changing right in front of our eyes day after day. While it may be impossible for our human minds to see exponential growth in action, there is a feeling among many of us that we can almost do it in the Sarasota area this year. But I'll be back to that in a moment. First, some other results from the surveys.
57% of those surveyed in this survey bought or rented their first electric vehicle (EV) in the last 21 months (almost two years). That alone is a sign of how fast the EV market is growing (and especially Tesla Model 3 sales) and how much different the market is today than it was in 2017.
The other solid positive note about The market, especially if you consider that many of those surveyed just got an EV in the last year or two, is that 83% were convinced that they had inspired others to go electric. A further 17% did not rule it out, but was simply not sure.
And here are the great details on this topic and come back to what I mentioned above about exponential growth occurring before our eyes: A full 91% of those surveyed were convinced that people were more open for EVs this year than in previous years. After conducting almost all of these surveys in person, I would also note that the respondents were generally quite emphatic about that answer, and lit up with enthusiasm.
In open questions about follow-up on this, I asked a little more about why they think this is the case. On the whole, the arrival of the Tesla Model 3, and how competitive it is, was seen as a critical milestone that has opened so many more people to EVs.
As you can see in the diagram above, respondents are driving pretty much, far more than the national average of around 13,500 miles per year. Overall, 30% of those surveyed indicated that they drive 21,000 miles per year, some of whom said they drive more than 30,000 miles a year. 52% indicated that they drive 15,000 kilometers or more per year.
One thing that is of interest to the EV market is that the majority of respondents – 60% – plan to stick to the current EV for 6+ years. 43% of them expect to keep their car for more than 10 years!
As you can see, almost 100% of those surveyed suggested that they plan to get a Tesla when shopping for a vehicle again, and the majority, 61%, expect to jump in in a Tesla Model Y or Tesla Model 3 when they next buy a new vehicle. (Note: "Other" on the chart represented a Rivian electric vehicle.)
Just when we looked at the question of which car brands are EV conductors, it was not at all surprising to see 100% of respondents say Tesla was an EV leader. Although not even close to Tesla, the answers also indicated some habilitation or praise about Porsche and GM. Rivian, who was also called 9-13% of the time, had not shown on the chart.
I had no idea what to expect from these studies. I found the results quite interesting, most notable (1) how much EV drivers (almost exclusively Tesla drivers) drive, (2) almost across the board, the next vehicle respondents intended to buy was a Tesla vehicle, ( 3) 91% of respondents thought people seemed more open to electric vehicles today than they did a year ago, (4) 57% of those surveyed first bought an EV in the last 21 months, and (5) 83% of those surveyed said that they have definitely inspired other people to go electric. Now that we have mass-marketed electric vehicles (especially the Tesla Model 3) that are hyper-competitive with gasoline vehicles in their class, it's easy to go electric – or, in fact, hard to justify not to go electric – and I think we see the results of that in several of the findings from this brief survey. It will be interesting to see how answers break out in one year!
If you want to buy a Tesla and get some free Supercharging miles, feel free to use our referral code: https://ts.la/zachary63404.