Study Analyzes Motivations of EV and PV Users

October 23, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) has released its latest research, Consumer Driven Technologies. Compiled on behalf of and available to its nationwide energy industry members, the report sheds light on consumer attitudes and their interest in solar power and electric vehicles.

Consumer Driven Technologies surveyed 1,571 respondents on four distinct technologies and services: residential solar, community solar, green power plans, and electric vehicles. Through oversampling of adopters of residential solar PV and EV technologies, the study supports in-depth analysis of the motivations, concerns and experience of consumers who have recently made decisions regarding their purchase and use.

“By taking a deep dive into the perceptions of early solar and EV users, we are able to provide energy leaders with timely and critical data to help them envision and execute a modernized grid - one that is best able to implement clean, renewable energy for the 21st century,” said Patty Durand, President and CEO of SGCC.

Key findings from Consumer Drive Technologies indicates that: Consistent with previous research, we found that consumer demographics and segmentation had a much stronger statistical association with interest in solar PV and EVs than other potential influences. Fewer than 22 percent of all consumers claim to have a fairly complete understanding of PV or EVs which is a barrier to engagement.

Consumers are moving from a sole-ownership of solar PV and EVs towards power purchase agreements (PPAs), leases, and shared ownership arrangements including community solar. Roughly one-half of consumers who have either solar or EV technology have both. Similarly, consumers who are interested in one of those technologies have interest in the other. Consumers perceive the value of being connected to the grid and are willing to pay for it. Utilities have a role as an information provider and market booster, but less so as a provider of ancillary services for solar PV and EVs.