eMobility Public Charging Study 2023

Usage habits and experiences with (semi-)public charging

The Public Charging Study surveys the usage habits, experiences and wishes of e-car owners when charging in public spaces, retail outlets and employers.

For the study, 3,075 e-car drivers in the DACH region were surveyed online between May and July 2023.

The public charging study was also conducted in August 2023 with a slightly smaller sample in 6 other European markets (FR, UK, IT, ES, NL, NO) as well as in the USA, China and the Arab Gulf states

Content and added value of the Public Charging study

Content of the Public Charging Study

Segmentation characteristics:

  • Demographics of eCar drivers (age, gender, income)
  • Housing situation (size of city, single-family home/apartment, own car park)
  • Vehicle (brand, company car, purchase price, financing, real range, AC/DC charging capacity)
  • Driving habits (usage situations, mileage per year and per weekday, frequency of long-distance journeys, general usage habits)
  • Motivation for e-mobility (reasons for purchase, worries before/after the purchase decision, comparison of charging vs. refuelling, regrets about buying an e-car)

General charging behaviour:

  • Charging locations
  • Energy quantities per charging location
  • Charging occasions
  • Charging routine
  • Reasons for not charging at home
  • Charging types

Charge planning / route planning:

  • Charging station search: systems used, important filter options, charge planning – in general
  • Route planning: systems used, important functions
  • Charging boredom: usual activities
  • Experience: occupancy of charging points at different charging locations
    Acceptable waiting times at the charging location
  • Readiness for detours (AC, DC, HPC)

Charging decision:

  • Criteria for the charging decision on the road, at the destination in a foreign city, in the residential area (if no charging option is available at home)

User stories for 5 relevant (semi-)public charging locations (USE-CASES)

  • Attractiveness of the charging locations
  • Relevance of the charging locations for your own charging behaviour
  • Evaluation of the charging locations (availability, price, suitable for the usual length of planned stops, suitable for daily routes, convenience)
  • for each use case: splits by vehicle type, company car, routes, residential locations, EFH/MFH, charging technology at home, charging preferences, charging power, demographic characteristics)

eMSP/CPO usage behaviour:

  • Actively and preferentially used charging service providers for public charging
  • Reasons for use of preferred providers
  • Relevance of the CPO for public charging
  • Preferences of CPOs
  • Criteria for choice of CPO
  • Relevance display of the CPO per charging location

Tariffs and payment options:

  • Interest in variable tariffs
  • Authorisation / payment method (actual)
  • Authorisation / payment method (preferred)

Charging problems and satisfaction:

  • Fear of charging for longer distances
  • Charging problems (type and frequency)
  • Perceived improvement in public charging infrastructure in the last 12 months
  • Satisfaction with public charging
    • Technical reliability of the charging process
    • Number of public fast charging stations
    • Authorisation & payment process
    • Choice of payment options
    • Capacity utilisation
    • Occupancy by third-party parkers
    • Surrounding locations (cleanliness, lighting)
    • Number of public AC charging points
    • Information and help with problems
    • Charging apps (for searching and charging planning)
    • Operation

Expansion requirements for public infrastructure:

  • Charging supply expansion needs (fast chargers, charging hubs, retail charging, charging in residential areas)
  • Potential for improvement at the charging points themselves
  • Recommendations to operators of charging hubs, charging parks on the road

Charging in retail:

  • Influence of a charging option on the choice of retailer visited
  • Criteria for the decision to charge in-store
  • Satisfaction with retail charging (reliability, service, payment options, number of AC/DC chargers, occupancy by third-party parking, locations and signage, environment (cleanliness/lighting), information and help with problems)
  • Change in the charging offer in retail in the last 12 months
  • Interest in linking the charging process with loyalty cards or Payback and variable tariffs depending on the amount of the purchase
  • Recommendations to retailers

Charging at the employer’s premises:

  • Cost coverage and taxation
  • Tariffs with employer
  • Desired types of authorisation
  • Satisfaction with charging at the employer (number of charging options, reliability, payment options, service, environment, locations and signage, occupancy by third-party parking, information and help with problems)
  • Change in the charging offer within the last 12 months
  • Recommendations to employers
Target group of the survey

The target group was chosen in such a way that all respondents specifically talk about experiences with charging locations where they actually charge regularly. On average, the respondents have had their e-car for two years, i.e. sufficient experience with charging.

Added value and benefits for manufacturers and operators of public charging infrastructure, retailers and employers

The study is mainly aimed at manufacturers and operators as well as service providers in the environment of public charging infrastructure, retailers and employers.

Charging services in public spaces, retail outlets and employers are still at an early stage of development. Thus, standards for many functions and features are only slowly developing. The extensive survey and the high sample size provide a precise picture of not only the current user behaviour but also problems and needs. The study shows both what expectations and wishes e-car drivers have. This allows charging technology manufacturers, operators and service providers to prioritise their investments and focus them on the offers that lead to the highest demand, the highest customer loyalty and thus the highest sales. For retailers, the study shows the potential to attract e-car drivers to their shops with the right charging offer, motivating them to stay longer in the shop and make more purchases. For employers, the study shows how a charging offer must be designed to be attractive for employees.

Dashboard for analysis

Many exciting findings only become apparent when the results are evaluated according to different customer groups. Hence, providers can target their offers in a differentiated way to different user segments. Thanks to the high sample size, subscribers to the study can split the results in the interactive dashboard as they wish and analyse the results obtained in detail. In addition, the dashboard shows over 7,500 pre-clustered verbatim mentions of the respondents.

USCALE focus studies: User studies on electromobility

Since 2018, USCALE has been systematically surveying EV drivers about their expectations and experiences at all touchpoints of the e-mobile customer journey. Additionally, you can find an overview of all USCALE focus studies HERE.

We also show extracts from other studies in the LinkedIn articles by USCALE and Axel Sprenger, our company founder.

If you have any questions, please contact us at contact@uscale.digital.