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California Drivers Very Happy With Their Plug-In Electric Cars

With Chevy’s Volt topping customer satisfaction surveys for the last few years running, it’s no surprise to hear that other plug-in electric cars are also popular with owners.

A new survey from the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) shows that over 9 in every 10 plug-in drivers reports overall satisfaction with their vehicle.

That’s impressive, given California is the largest market in the U.S for plug-ins.

Over 30,000 plug-in vehicles roam the state’s roads, making up 35 percent of the U.S. total. It’s a tally that increases every month too, to the tune of around 2,500 vehicles at the current rate.

Climate conditions, driving conditions and the state’s healthy plug-in vehicle rebates mean there are few better places to own an electric vehicle, the CCSE survey confirming that those rebates were an important motivating factor for 95 percent of respondents.

It’s worth noting at this point that the vast majority of respondents in the survey are Nissan Leaf owners, at 97 percent–it’d certainly be interesting to see more of a mix with Chevy Volt drivers and now that there are decent numbers on the market, the new Tesla Model S.

Enough range… but not enough range

Other interesting statistics stemming from the survey include just how far respondents drive.

On average, owners drive their cars around 29 miles per day, or around 910 miles per month. A full half of those surveyed drove between 15-30 miles per day.

That tallies with virtually every other previous survey, suggesting Americans as a whole drive little more than this per day–and confirms that even 100-mile electric vehicles comfortably cover the average driver’s daily duties. Even so, drivers would still prefer a little more–a whole 40 percent are dissatisfied with their vehicle’s range.

How much range is enough range? 150 miles seems to be a suitable figure–57 percent would be “extremely satisfied” by this point.

A telling statistic is that 94 percent of respondends own a regular, internal combustion vehicle–so EVs don’t quite replace their regular cars in all scenarios.



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