Featured Image 5f745d4530b10

Survey Finds Nearly 40% of Arizona EV Drivers Say Charging Costs Lower Than Expected

Sept. 30, 2020
SRP survey offers insights on how to improve EV customer offerings, increase the number of valley-based EV drivers.

Salt River Project (SRP) recently released the results from its Electric Vehicle (EV) Community survey completed by 1269 SRP customers part of the SRP EV Community, conducted between Aug. 24 and Sept. 17, 2020. It is the fourth annual survey of its kind that collects insights from SRP customers on their experiences owning and driving EVs.

As SRP EV Community members, customers hear about opportunities, news, and other SRP EV initiatives, and also have the opportunity to provide valuable feedback, which helps shape SRP's EV programs, rate plans, and charging solutions. These insights help pave the way for future EV owners in SRP's service territory.

Key insights from this year's survey found:

  • 39% of Arizona-based EV customers say that costs associated with charging their vehicles are lower — or much lower — than expected.
    • 50% say costs are equal to expected and only 9% say costs are higher than expected.
  • More than 73% of EV customers say they regularly use the timer on their EV to charge it during off-peak hours.
  • More than 84% of EV customers would recommend buying an EV to a friend or colleague. This percentage of EV promotors grows each year, increased from 74% of promoters in 2017.

"Each year, the number of customers who join our SRP EV Community grows and, with that, we receive new insights on how we can better serve valley-based EV drivers as their electricity provider," said Catherine O’Brien, EV lead at SRP. "These insights help us develop future EV price plans and customer programs that reward EV drivers in our service territory, which ultimately lowers carbon emissions in our local communities."

Using feedback from customers, SRP has implemented behavior-based, energy-saving programs, such as its EV Price Plan, that support current and prospective EV owners and drivers. The EV Price Plan works similarly to the SRP time-of-use price plans and is designed to help EV owners lower energy costs by charging their vehicles during off-peak hours, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. SRP also developed the EV Export Price Plan for customers who produce some of their own energy with rooftop solar and customers are credited for the energy they generate.

Satisfaction among Arizona-based EV customers continues to grow, with extremely high Net Promoter Scores and an annual increase in survey respondents who would recommend buying an EV to a friend or colleague. This is especially significant this year, as the latest survey results were taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which, more than 56% of respondents say they have driven their EVs significantly less since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Additional insights from this year's survey found:

  • Most survey respondents, more than 53%, say they rarely use public charging stations.
    • Various respondents said a benefit associated with driving EVs is not having to visit public gas stations, specifically now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More than three out of four EV customers (76%) have Level II chargers at home versus Level I chargers. This is a 12% increase in Level II home chargers from 2018. Differences in at-home chargers are detailed on the SRP website.
  • More than one out of three (36.9%) respondents say they have access to EV charging at work.

SRP continues to gain insights from its EV customer base to better support the enablement of more EVs in the valley and more than 84% of respondents in the latest survey said they are willing to participate in follow-up research on their experiences as an EV driver.

As part of its programmatic research efforts last year, SRP launched SmartCharge AZ, an EV pilot program partnering with FleetCarma. This pilot is made up of 500 SRP residential EV owners and helps SRP understand charging behaviors. It offers a controlled load-shifting program designed to promote charging during times beneficial to the power grid while also reducing customer costs.

After receiving the latest EV Community survey insights, SRP plans to initiate more research around public charging stations, focused on how the utility can instill improved customer confidence in driving between home and available EV charging stations. SRP continues to offer incentives and rebates to commercial customers to install EV chargers in public parking lots, workplaces, multifamily dwellings, and more to increase the number of EV charger ports in the valley and state.

As part of SRP's 2035 sustainability goals, the company enables customers to take advantage of advanced technologies and energy solutions. By 2035, SRP plans to support the enablement of 500,000 EVs in SRP's service territory and manage 90% of EV charging through price plans, dispatchable load management, original equipment manufacturer integration, connected smart homes, behavioral and other emerging programs.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!