Ford Motor Company logo, courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Surveyed 10,000 Hybrid and Electric Car Owners, and This is What They Said

92 percent of battery only electric car owners said they plan to buy another green car.  90 percent of plug-in hybrid owners plan to buy another green car.

Let the entirety of that sink in.  In a poll-crazy, analytical world where we judge success or failure with sample sizes of as little as 600 people, we should listen when more than 9,000 green car owners tell us they’re happy with hybrid and electric technology.

How representative is that number?

According to US Department of Energy  figures above and Wikipedia, a little over 3.5 million hybrid and electric cars have been sold between 1999-2014.  According to a sample size calculator from Checkmarket, a polling and survey site, a sample size of 2,400 out of 3.5 million should give you a 95 percent confidence rate and 2 percent margin of error.  Their margin of error calculator, taking into account 10,000 respondents out of a user base of 120,000 yields a .94 margin of error.

So…this is pretty representative of green car owners.

The survey, reported by CleanTechnica, was undertaken by Ford and PlugInsights, the research arm of PlugShare.

(Stephanie Janczak, Manager of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Technology at Ford) broke those numbers down for us a little more. Among the 92% of BEV drivers who said they would buy another EV, the primary choice was another BEV. The driving experience (“instant power,” as Janczak expresses it) was cited along with an appreciation of clean technology.

 

While BEV owners tended to say they would stay with full battery technology for a future EV purchase, PHEV owners were more inclined to switch to BEV for their next electric car.

 

The common perception that an EV is part of a two car household is true.  The EV is the vehicle for commuting or short trips.  The gasoline car is the vehicle for longer trips. But what Ford learned about the future of these two-car households is insightful:

Second-car owners said they tended to use the gasmobile for longer trips, which, according to Janczek, suggests that improvements in battery range will prompt EV owners to replace their second car with an EV, too.

 

The survey supported that view, and in addition it showed that the tendency for PHEV owners to switch to BEV holds true when it comes to the second car. Among the PHEV owners who also own a gasmobile, 73% said that, when it comes to replacing their gasmobile, they were pretty much split on either a PHEV or a BEV.

 

83 percent of respondents already had solar energy panels.  Which may be a tip-off that respondents were already members of “the choir” to borrow from the idiom.  The green car may have led to adding more green tech to the household, or the car was the most recent green tech addition.  This is something that needs to be unfolded once (if) the study becomes publicly available.

Or as Ford puts it:

As that 83% figure shows, there is considerable overlap between EV ownership and solar acceptance, which Janczak attributes to an awareness of global warming issues. That supports the idea that EV ownership is part of a “complete lifestyle” focused on reducing emissions.

 

Janczak also notes that, as far as the chicken-and-egg sequence goes, adopting solar at home doesn’t necessarily come before the purchase of an EV, but the two are related.

 

Don’t believe the hype.  Hybrid and electric cars are here to stay.

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Sebastian James

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