The results are in: What will encourage EV owners to charge off-peak?

 In Inside FleetCarma

Here at FleetCarma, we’ve been working with electric utilities to support peak load reduction programs by providing incentives for off-peak charging. Reducing loads at high-demand peak times means good things for the environment and your utility: taking advantage of renewable sources and enhancing grid efficiency and resiliency – making service more reliable for everyone.

As we move ahead with these programs, it is very important that utilities have the right incentives in place to encourage changes in charging routines. Two weeks ago, we sought responses to an online survey, and we’re extra hugely appreciative that many – 65 – answered the call to respond on what would encourage them to charge off-peak! Here is a recap of the results:

Background: Survey Question and Options

The survey gave a hypothetical offering of a utility program:

Suppose your utility is offering this program

If You Adjust Your Charging… Your Utility Will Give You…
  • More than 50% of your charging needs to be between 12am-7am.
  • July & August: no charging between 5pm-7pm.

For ALL your charging (home, workplace and public charging).

  • A monthly financial incentive.
  • A charging and driving data app to better understand your EV energy use.

*We understand off-peak times vary across jurisdictions and chose a common off-peak time.

The survey then asked about the EV Owner’s preference between randomized permutations of:

  1. Monthly financial incentive: $5, $10, $15 (assumed currency of USD or CAD, as we targeted North American respondents)
  2. Charging and driving data-oriented features to help EV Owners be smarter EV energy consumers: two variations ‘Bundle A’ and ‘Bundle B’ as outlined below.

Question Reference: charging and driving App features

We are testing interest in 2 bundle options in the questions below:

Bundle A Bundle B
  • Driving Efficiency: Track your driving efficiency and how it compares to other EV owners.
  • Trip Data: View your electric miles driven, carbon footprint, and battery state of charge by trip.
  • Downloadable Data: Keep records and share your vehicles’s stats with friends and family.
  • Charging Energy Added: See when you charge your vehicle, and how much energy is added.
  • Battery Health: Understand your battery’s degredation of storage and power capacity over time.
  • Charging Costs: Be able to answer how much it costs to charge, using your utility’s rates.
  • Battery Health: Understand your battery’s degredation of storage and power capacity over time.
  • Charging Data: View your energy added and duration, broken down by your home and public charging.
  • Trip Data: View your electric miles driven, carbon footprint, and battery state of charge by trip.
  • Privacy Profiles: Concerned by data tracking? Choose to opt-out and opt-in to tracking and features.

Survey Results

The survey methodology (called ‘conjoint analysis’) assigns a value scoring to the combinations of options. The most preferred options are:

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  1. $15 monthly + Bundle B
  2. $15 monthly + Bundle A; interesting result: very similar scoring to $10 monthly + Bundle B

Not surprisingly, the $15 monthly choice was preferred over $10 or $5 monthly!

Bundle B was the result of our past rounds of research efforts with EV Owners: top requests were clarity and accuracy of charging costs, addressing concerns on battery health, and also the ability to set privacy boundaries.

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