Utilities will need to ensure their distribution systems for electric cars

Coinciding with the launch of its EV Customer Strategy Research Council and Electric Vehicle Programs Summit, Chartwell has conducted a study that reveals 89% of consumers would be "likely" or "extremely likely" to charge their plug-in EVs at home. In fact, the recent survey of 1,500 North American consumers shows that 81% of that group would fall into the extremely-likely category. This was a far greater percentage than consumers who foresee external charging stations as the primary means for fuel.

"We’ve uncovered some interesting findings," said Stacey Bailey, a Sr. Research Analyst with Chartwell. "You have the vast majority of consumers believing their home will be the primary charging site, and most of those respondents say they will plug in during off-peak, overnight hours, which would be preferable for most utilities.

"Still, we did find a notable percentage of consumers who say they will plug-in during on-peak times, which could potentially stress the distribution system."

Chartwell’s EV Council, a group of utilities facilitated by Chartwell, will cover customer-oriented programs and messaging around EVs and consumer opinions and behaviors. The council, which includes charter members DTE Energy, FPL and PacificCorp., will also interact and share practices in an exclusive setting.

The Chartwell Electric Vehicle Programs Summit, set for Nov. 15-16 in San Diego, also highlights these and other integration issues.

Based in Atlanta, Chartwell Inc. is a specialized information provider that helps utilities improve their customer satisfaction. Chartwell publishes case studies, quantitative research and industry data, and hosts conferences and other events for utility professionals.