According to a recent study by Brussels University’s research center Mobi, the typical Belgian EV driver is a 47-year-old, technology-loving male. He’s highly educated and lives in a free-standing house. The Belgian charging station manufacturer Powerdale commissioned the study.
VUB’s research center Mobi analyzed the data of 489 drivers with a hybrid or fully electric car. The researchers wanted to get a better idea of the drivers’ profiles. The results should help improve electromobility in Belgium in the short or long(er) time.
Professor Lieselot Vanhaverbeke (Mobi): “Today, driving an electric car is still reserved for the so-called ‘early adopters’. People who are the first to embrace new technology and who are even willing to pay more for it. This profile is often seen in the group.”
Most of the participating respondents cover an average of 130 km per day. Remarkable is that more than one in five (22%) – in the Netherlands, even 33% – never charge at home. “It proves that people can embrace electric driving without having their own charging infrastructure at home.”
Not eager to share
Other striking details: 72% of EV drivers use their car for holiday trips, and only 27% of them are willing to share their e-car with their neighbors or neighborhood members.
The study enables Powerdal to assess better how electric driving should evolve from early adopters to the general public. First, the sector needs to simplify all information about electric driving. Today, the info is still too complex for those not interested in technology.
Another step forward is standardization. “We need to evolve toward an international standard that makes it easier for the charging station and the battery in the car to communicate with each other,” says Powerdale’s chief technology officer Alain De Cat.
Finally, electromobility must also continue to innovate. For example, the study discovered that 73% of the e-drivers in the survey were interested in purchasing a car with vehicle-to-grid technology, turning the battery of their electric vehicle into a home battery.
Still many questions
The question is whether the grid can cope when everybody plugs in simultaneously. Besides, will employers allow people to charge for free at work and then use that electricity at home?
Anyway, electromobility still raises a lot of questions. Today, there’s one electric car for every eight people on the road worldwide. And what will happen in the future? Will we continue like this and see more and more electric vehicles appear on the streets? Or do we need to replace the current fleet?
The Belgian Powerdale is a technology provider for electromobility and energy management. The company also provides charging infrastructure for the public, business, and residential markets.