Electric Vehicle Owners Drive Half the Miles Other Drivers: Study

Illustration for the article titled Electric Vehicle Owners Drive Half the Miles Other Drivers: Study

Photo: Brendon thorne (fake images)

Electric Vehicle Owners Don’t Drive As Much As Other Car Owners, A New study from the University of Chicago, the University of California, Davis and UC Berkeley. In fact, the average electric vehicle owner has not met the expected metrics. anywhere along the highway, both in terms of mileage and in terms of things like home energy use.

I’m going to explain some of the great findings to you here, but the first thing to notice is that this study do not been peer reviewed. That basically just means that several other researchers haven’t reviewed the findings to confirm them, but they don’t immediately rule them out. We will probably see changes in the future.

Now to the products!

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) conducted this study, not based on odometers or personal reports, but on calculations looking at the increase in domestic energy use for homes with electric vehicles in California. It was a way of regulating information, as most EV manufacturers do not want to share mileage information and drivers cannot always be relied on to provide accurate information.

Instead, the researchers looked at a sample of residential electricity meters in California and compared the meter readings to electric vehicle registration records. Of 362,945 households analyzed, 57,290 housed electric vehicles. The purpose was to look at how much additional electricity was used to charge the electric vehicles, from which the researchers extrapolated how many miles these EV owners drove. They were able to do this using information from the California Air Resources Board that estimates that 85 percent of electric vehicle charging occurs in the home.

The bottom line is that “electric vehicles travel 5,300 miles per year, less than half the average for the US fleet.”

Of course, we don’t get all the data here. Electric vehicle owners may charge more often outside the home than inside. The researchers were working with a fairly small sample size and were using data from 2014-2017, when there were fewer electric vehicles on the road than there are now. It is quite possible that things are drastically different now.

The study was published to encourage discussion and further study; it is a starting point rather than conclusive research, designed to raise “important questions about the potential for technology to replace the vast majority of trips that currently use gasoline.


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