Where to charge up your electric vehicle? At IKEA and at home

An overwhelming majority of drivers, if they actually owned a plug-in, are pretty sure they will charge their electric vehicles at home, according to a Chartwell study.

Chartwell's survey of 1,500 North American consumers – not necessarily owners of electric vehicles – reveals that 89 percent would be "likely" or "extremely likely" to charge their plug-ins at home, with a full 81 percent choosing the "extremely likely" category. No surprise there.

Stacey Bailey, senior research analyst with Chartwell, stated:
You have the vast majority of consumers believing their home will be the primary charging site, and most of those respondents say they will plug in during off-peak, overnight hours, which would be preferable for most utilities.
A similar study, this one conducted by UK-based charging specialist Pod Point, reveals that in terms of non-residential charging, the IKEA store in London was the single most popular place for charging electric vehicles within the entire Source London network of 400-plus public-use chargers. The statistics show that, during the month of August, drivers hooked up to the Source London network for 157 hours, with a single IKEA store in Wembley responsible for 18 hours of the network's total charge time. This, too, seems predictable since shoppers typically spend a considerable amount of time within the vast IKEA stores.
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Retail Customer Car Park Ranks Most Popular Location to Charge Electric Car

Statistics released by nationwide electric vehicle charging specialist POD Point have revealed that the IKEA store in Wembley, North London, was the most popular place for charging an electric car in the whole of the Source London Network during August.

Drivers took advantage of over 157 hours of charging time across 32 POD Points in Source London network during August, but it was IKEA in Wembley, which topped the usage charts, with over 18 hours of charging.

Surprisingly, only 4% of Source London's charge points are located in retail car parks like IKEA, but with the introduction of a faster charge point by POD Point at last week's Low Carbon Vehicle show, the company's CEO Erik Fairbairn believes that retailers across the country could extend the time their customers stay in store by offering electric vehicle charging facilities.

POD Point CEO Erik Fairbairn comments, "We are seeing increasing numbers of retailers explore the benefits of installing EV charge points in their car parks because it encourages customers to spend longer in store, which in turn will help increase their spend. Many will be aware of the debate raised by Top Gear recently with regards to the length of time it takes to charge an electric vehicle. Whilst our new twin charge points are able to provide a full charge in 3 hours, what we have found is that most drivers simply 'graze' when it comes to public charging, topping up with some charge whilst they shop. Our new charge points can provide 30 miles of additional driving in just an hour, making it the perfect solution for retailers who want to entice customers to stay in store for longer."

EV drivers will prefer to charge their vehicles at home, reveals a new Chartwell survey

ATLANTA – Sept. 21, 2011 – Utilities will need to ensure their distribution systems are ready for electric vehicles (EVs) because an overwhelming number of drivers envision they will charge their EVs at home, new Chartwell research shows.

Coinciding with the launch of its EV Customer Strategy Research Council and forthcoming EV conference, Chartwell has conducted a study that reveals 89% of consumers would be "likely" or "extremely likely" to charge their plug-in EVs at home. In fact, the recent survey of 1,500 North American consumers shows that 81% of that group would fall into the extremely-likely category. This was a far greater percentage than consumers who foresee external charging stations as the primary means for fuel.

"We've uncovered some interesting findings," said Stacey Bailey, a Sr. Research Analyst with Chartwell. "You have the vast majority of consumers believing their home will be the primary charging site, and most of those respondents say they will plug in during off-peak, overnight hours, which would be preferable for most utilities.

"Still, we did find a notable percentage of consumers who say they will plug-in during on-peak times, which could potentially stress the distribution system."

The number of EVs on the road also remains to be seen, and this, for many utilities, is the bigger issue. As part of its EV study Chartwell is also interviewing utilities, who see consumer acceptance and getting information on EV purchases and adoption in their service territories as a bigger issue than any potential stress on the grid.

Chartwell's EV Council, a group of utilities facilitated by Chartwell, will cover customer customer-oriented programs and messaging around EVs and consumer opinions and behaviors. The Council, which includes charter members DTE Energy, FPL and PacifiCorp, will also interact and share practices in an exclusive setting.

The Chartwell Electric Vehicle Programs Summit, set for Nov. 15-16 in San Diego, also highlights these and other integration issues.

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