Survey: 39% of EV owners have solar PV

california-PEV-survey-EV-PVA recently released survey of plug-in vehicle owners conducted by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) in coordination with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) shows that a significant percentage of early adopters of plug-in vehicles are plugging their EVs into home solar.

Nearly 1,500 California plug-in vehicle owners responded to the survey, which CCSE and ARB are calling the largest survey of its kind ever.

Zeroing in on EV + PV
While the survey generated lots of interesting data, some of which you can view quickly and easily via the info-graphic at the bottom of this story, of greatest interest to SolarChargedDriving.Com are the numbers on PV + EV, or solar-charged driving.

In fact, it’s notable that the survey devotes more than a page – out of nine pages total – to various questions regarding EV owners and home solar.

This clearly shows, as do the survey numbers themselves, that solar-charged driving is a big deal, at least in terms of the admittedly somewhat out-of-the mainstream people who have tended to be those who’ve purchased or leased plug-in vehicles so far.

Among the survey’s most interesting EV + PV findings:

  • 39 percent of respondents already have a home solar PV system;
  • An additional 17 percent said they plan to add home solar. This pushes the total of current and future solar-charged respondents to 56 percent, or more than 700 respondents! If this survey is representative of the U.S. as a whole, where, in the past 1 ½ years, about 20,000 new plug-in vehicles have been sold, there could be up to 10,000 solar-charged drivers in the U.S. right now. However, because it’s likely that a higher percentage of California plug-in vehicle owners have home solar than those in other states, the number of solar-charged drivers in the U.S. probably isn’t that high. Still, it seems virtually certain that, at the very least, there are several thousand EV owners currently plugging into solar-charged driving in the U.S. While that might not seem like a lot, it’s a lot more than when we founded SolarChargedDriving.Com approximately three years ago.
  • Approximately 60 percent of survey respondents who did not initially size their home solar PV system for their plug-in vehicle stated that they plan to expand their system within the coming year.

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95% have gas car too
Another notable survey finding is the fact that 95 percent of plug-in vehicle owners own at least one conventional fuel vehicle.

This fact almost certainly plays a significant role in another very interesting fact: Namely, the fact that 83 percent of respondents indicated that they use their plug-in vehicle as their primary car, driving, on average 800 pure EV miles per month.

The high percentage of respondents living in a two-car household (nearly 60 percent of American households are two-car households), with one being a conventional fuel vehicle, lends solid support to something we at SolarChargedDriving.Com have contended for a long time: Namely, that grand statements about range anxiety are overstated.

That’s because big generalizations about range anxiety fail to account for the fact that a majority of American households are two-car households, or for the fact that, in many, if not most, of these households, a plug-in vehicle used almost exclusively in electric mode for commuting, trips around town, etc. plus a gasoline car used for the occasional long trips works perfectly fine.


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