Shell: The user experience needs to be improved to support the adoption of electric vehicles

Shell: The user experience needs to be improved to support the adoption of electric vehicles


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A new Shell Recharge Solution study reveals that improving the user experience is essential for the mass adoption of electric vehicles. Nevertheless, many challenges remain.

58% of French electric car drivers and 75% at European level say that the driving experience and technology inherent in electric cars are the main arguments for switching to electric power, some of which are not entirely satisfied. These data are taken from the EV Driver Survey 2022, the largest survey of electric vehicle drivers (EVs) in Europe conducted by Shell Recharge Solutions.

The EV Drivers Survey 2022 is based on an online questionnaire on electric vehicle driving and electric charging. 14,991 electric vehicle drivers in five markets took part in the survey: the United Kingdom (2,853), France (1,587), Germany (6,272), the Netherlands (4,145) and Belgium (134).

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The pandemic has deeply shaken the business world and the automotive industry. The global supply chain was strained as the war in Ukraine only exacerbated the phenomenon by driving up raw material and energy prices. As a result of these shocks, severely disrupted energy markets have put purchasing power in Europe under pressure. The fact that these market conditions are not ideal for the adoption of electric cars makes the recent growth of this sector even more interesting. Indeed, sales are growing faster than expected and manufacturers are trying to meet demand.

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Driving experience, criterion number one

While the Shell Recharge Solutions (SRS) survey reveals the importance of driving experience, costs and environmental issues in choosing an electric drive, it also highlights obstacles, especially with regard to creating a rich, usable and affordable charging infrastructure. Electric cars certainly have many benefits, but frustrations remain.

Electric cars are gaining ground and some of the changes are due to the driving experience. 76% of respondents who currently own an electric vehicle want their next vehicle to be electric as well. Similarly, the driving experience and technological equipment integrated in these vehicles are 75% the main reason for switching to electric propulsion. Among hybrid vehicle drivers, this number is falling to 53%.

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And while 70% of respondents say that driving an electric vehicle is beneficial for the environment, only 23% say that their purchase was motivated by concerns about the future of the planet.

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On the other hand, 55% of respondents emphasize saving money (48% for hybrid drivers) and 41% believe that subsidies and favorable taxation are crucial for choosing an electric car. The share, which climbs to 47% among hybrid drivers (the survey does not specify whether it is a rechargeable hybrid or a simple hybrid). Finally, another interesting figure, only 25% of respondents cite the forthcoming ban on gasoline or diesel models as the main reasons for doing so.

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In addition, the SRS survey highlights the issue – an interesting observation – of preferences: 78% think their electric vehicle is more durable than a traditional vehicle and 61% think its maintenance and use costs are lower. In addition, 53% found that their electric vehicle had more “style” than their thermal equivalent. In addition, only half of respondents (52%) believe that using an electric vehicle is more comfortable.

Filling? An unpleasant experience

It is on the side of the charging industry that the challenges that the industry must take on are beginning to emerge. The most important improvements that drivers require to increase the acceptance of electric cars mainly concern range. 57% are afraid of this point, 49% want better availability of charging stations and 33% faster charging speeds. 47% also believe that lower initial acquisition costs would encourage the adoption of this type of vehicle.

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According to the survey, there is also a need to improve the customer journey of EV drivers, as it remains chaotic at the moment. The proof is that French drivers sometimes use more than three charging applications, such as Chargemap or ABRP, and more than a third carry more than four charging cards! Another cause for concern is that 55% believe that the charging infrastructure will not be able to keep up with the mass introduction of electric cars. Similarly, 40% of EV drivers have recharging problems in other countries, which do not bother drivers of combustion vehicles: interoperability between internal combustion vehicles and service stations is never questioned.

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Costs

On the anxiety side, costs are a major factor in favor of or against EV adoption, even for current drivers: 72% are looking forward to mass EV adoption, which they believe will reduce their purchase and ownership costs. The claim to be taken with tweezers, because this trend is conditioned by the availability and price of raw materials, at least in the face of thermal energy. And while 62% believe that rising petrol and diesel prices should encourage people to switch to electricity faster, 68% also fear the impact of rising electricity prices on the price of their electric cars.

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In any case, the adoption of an electric vehicle seems to affect behavior, as more than half of respondents believe that the availability of charging stations affects the places where the owner of the electric car buys and its movements. As a result, 65% will tend to choose tourist sites based on the availability of a charging point.

The advantage of home charging

One of the main differences in infrastructure between EVs and heat vehicles is the potential for home charging. Because charging an electric car takes longer than refueling, access to this solution is not evenly distributed. Not surprisingly, respondents with a driveway are almost three times more likely to have a private charging station. 77% of respondents have a house or private parking lot, while 28% live in an apartment.

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Finally, in terms of the future and deployment of terminals, the survey highlights the fact that drivers (63%) would be willing to pay a little more to use a single card everywhere than to buy a monthly package for unlimited charging of their vehicle. . Similarly, drivers are genuinely interested in other payment innovations, such as automatic license plate recognition (31%) or simple bank card payments (31%).

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