Last October, Park and Charge commissioned a survey of Oxfordshire residents to find out more about how and where residents like to drive. Over the course of 23 days, we received a staggering 1,491 responses from people who live and work in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area. The survey provided us with the information we need to make our communications campaign as effective as possible, knowing that our core objective is:
To give Oxfordshire residents the confidence to switch to an electric vehicle (EV)
You can read the full report here or the summary here.
Why did we do it?
This report has helped shape the way we run our outreach activities for Park and Charge, identifying what motivates and indeed concerns you about switching to an electric vehicle. It has been important for us to get as good an idea as possible of what you think about electric vehicles, which areas (such as cost, charging, range) you’d like to know more about and your driving habits in general. This helps us make our entire public engagement campaign, from social media posts to how-to guides, more informative and tailored-made for the people of Oxfordshire.
More importantly, getting this insight into your EV opinions has informed how we run our public events to ensure they are as valuable as possible for Oxfordshire residents.
What did we learn?
Overall, the results of our survey were very encouraging. Just under one-third of our respondents already own at least one electric vehicle and just under two thirds (64%) are likely to consider an EV for their next car, with 45% saying they are very likely to. We had found out from previous research carried out by Oxfordshire County Council that the county is going electric at a quicker rate than most other parts of the UK so we knew that there are plenty of people who will benefit from the project.
Similarly, 25% of the residents we surveyed park at least one vehicle on-street when at home, which, if you drive electric, makes overnight charging more complicated. This means there is a large number of people who need a place to plug in close to home, but not at home. To make EVs more accessible for all, we have made sure our new charging hubs are only a short walk away from residential streets where there isn’t much off-street charging available, giving people the option to park for free as their vehicles charge up overnight.
When it comes to an investment as big as a car, we all like to try before we buy. And our survey revealed that 60% of those who didn’t own an EV had never driven one before. So, as well as laying the groundwork for current and future EV drivers to charge, we have been giving people opportunities to get behind the wheel themselves. If you come along to one of our events, you’ll be able to head off on a free, no-strings-attached test drive to see what all the fuss is about!
Learning Your Driving Habits
We often hear that ‘EVs are the future’ but ultimately they’re just vehicles and we drive them in the same ways that we would our petrol or diesel cars, bikes and vans. Our survey revealed that the majority of journeys Oxfordshire residents take each day are relatively short –between 5 and 25 miles– with the figures almost exactly the same for both EV and non-EV drivers.
Showing that EVs can fit easily into our daily lives has been one of the key messages in our campaign.
Addressing Your Concerns
Perhaps the most important thing our survey helped us identify was your main concerns about electric vehicles. We learned that the two main barriers discouraging Oxfordshire residents from making the switch are:
- The perceived high upfront costs of an EV
- The perceived lack of reliable public charging options
We’re working with local second-hand electric vehicle dealerships to show you the different, affordable electric options out there and building brand new charging hubs in up to 22 car parks across the county to give you the confidence to go electric.
For more information about buying, charging and driving EVs, follow us on social media or come along to one of our upcoming events for an informal chat. Or if you have a more specific query, send us a message here on our website!