Fuels

Electric-Vehicle Owners Want the Full Gas Station Experience

EV drivers want to trust their car to the man who wears the star, according to study that reveals what kind of locations they envision for their recharging needs
vintage gas station attendant
Image: Shutterstock

Current public charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) are far from meeting consumer wants and expectations, according to data from AutoPacific’s recent EV Consumer Insights Study. And it appears that EV drivers want to trust their car to the man who wears the star, just like in the Texaco ads of old.

EV consumers have a long list of charging station attributes that are important to them and what the ideal public charging station should look like. From easy-to-see and -read charging speed and pricing signage to offering additional basic vehicle care services such as windshield cleaner, air pumps for filling tires and vacuums, future EV consumers would like a public charging experience that more closely mirrors traditional gas stations and fueling facilities.

Although the survey did not specifically ask about convenience stores and foodservice, 81% of respondents agreed that “public charging stations should be located near coffee shops, restaurants, shops or other places I can enjoy visiting while waiting for my vehicle to charge,” Deborah Grieb, AutoPacific’s director of marketing and consumer insights, told CSP.

When looking at specific demographic groups, this number fluctuates most by generation but is fairly consistent by gender and children in the household:

 

Gender

  • 82% of males
  • 81% of females

Marital Status

  • 84% of married
  • 76% of single

Generation

  • 69% of Gen Z (1995-2010)
  • 85% of Gen Y (1977-1994)
  • 86% of Gen X (1965-1976)
  • 83% of Boomers (1946-1964)
  • 72% of Silent (1945 and earlier)

Children in household

  • 80% with no children
  • 83% with 1 child or more (86% for those with 2 children)

The study, conducted as a part of AutoPacific’s annual Future Attribute Demand Study, surveyed more than 7,200 future EV acceptors—those who either intend to purchase or will consider purchasing an EV in the near future—about their ideal public charging station attributes, reasons for wanting an EV, concerns about EV ownership and more.

For understanding the future of the automotive industry, “having a full understanding of future EV consumers and rejectors is essential, as is understanding all of the non-traditional extras, like charging, that go with EV ownership,” Grieb said.

EV acceptance is on the rise, according to AutoPacific, with EV purchase intention up from 11% in 2022 to 17% in 2023, and another 58% of respondents saying they would consider purchasing an EV in the near future. Many non-vehicle attributes, like the charging infrastructure, play key roles in the future of EVs in the United States. Whether a current EV owner, or a future acceptor without current ownership experience, future EV consumers have similar opinions on what attributes public charging stations should have.

“Allowing EV owners to have a public charging experience similar to what they’re used to with traditional fueling is certainly beneficial to increasing EV acceptance,” said AutoPacific President and Chief Analyst Ed Kim.

Long Beach, California-based AutoPacific is an automotive marketing research and product consulting firm providing clients with industry intelligence and sales forecasting.

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