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The Need for More Electric Vehicle Research

Last year saw a big increase in sales of Electric Vehicles. While the total car market suffered, sales of electric cars rose dramatically, increasing their market share from 1.5% to 6.5%. Sales of plug-in hybrids also increased sharply to 4.1% of the market.

Whilst EVs are only a small percentage of total car sales, it’s clear that as more consumers switch there will be an increasing need to provide charging points. According to a recent report from the Policy Exchange think tank, the roll out of EV charging points has fallen behind what is needed to meet the planned ban on petrol and diesel cars. You can read the full BBC article here. To keep ahead of the curve, we believe an understanding of consumers’ intentions around EVs is essential for a range of organisations – from energy providers through to local authorities who will need to plan for the provision of EV charging points. This is where a well-planned and tailored programme of consumer research can provide clarity and sound guidelines for future strategy.

We’ve conducted a number of research projects exploring the whole area of Electric Vehicles – from work with Transport for London and the Department for Transport through to recent research for the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford to investigate consumers’ parking routines and attitudes towards plug-in electric vehicles. Click here to view a case study on our work on introducing an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) for TfL. And we’re currently working on further electric vehicle research – a multi-country study for the European Climate Foundation to explore likely adoption of Electric Vehicles using choice exercises to understand the relative importance of variables such as price, fuel cost, driving range and availability of charging. We understand the subtleties involved in asking questions around future intentions – whether this is for a qualitative or quantitative study. We can also evaluate consumers’ priorities and the trade-offs they’re prepared to make through the Stated Preference technique (one of our specialities) to help transport planners determine how and when they should roll out future charging points.

If you’d like to hear more about our work in this area, please contact Rob Sheldon or Chris Heywood