A Nuanced Understanding of Rebated EV Consumer Groups

CVRP data

California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) incentivizes about half of new electric vehicle (EV) purchases and leases in the state. Data collected from participants provide insight into nuanced outreach and education strategies to build on what is already working and increase consumer EV acquisition.

This paper by CSE's Meghna Eluganti, John Anderson and Francis Alvarez describes the typical CVRP participant and details six distinct consumer groups. Outreach opportunities are explored based on characteristics, motivations and information environment of each group. Senior Manager John Anderson reported on the findings at the 36th Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition (EVS36).

Insights for EV stakeholders

  • Overall, the most influential information sources for EV adopters were experience-based:
    • Another plug-in electric vehicle driver.
    • Vehicle test drives.
    • Third-party vehicle review or car buying sites.
  • EV stakeholders should partner with community and social groups with information channels that provide trusted advisor experiences, working with experienced EV drivers, car reviewers and public personalities to share information supporting EVs.
  • Range and charging-related anxieties remain prevalent, so addressing gaps in infrastructure and, crucially, communicating about how charging may not be as difficult as perceived may help.
  • While online information comparing EV features, prices and warranties is easy to find, most participants had difficulty finding information about electricity rates and metering options, charging costs and federal incentives. Stakeholders should consider highlighting these resources, particularly for young renters.
  • In general, CVRP participants were most motivated by reducing environmental impacts, followed by practical aspects such as saving money on fuel, saving money overall, and access to HOV or carpool lanes. The most racially and ethnically diverse consumer groups in the analysis valued these reasons for adoption more than average, so messaging about practical benefits may be particularly resonant to support diverse access to EVs.

See the EVS36 presentation slides.