The EV Association NI Survey of 2022, received 494 responses, more than double that of the previous year. While other questionnaires usefully look at the views mainly of those considering the move to an EV, the EVANI survey is unique in capturing the thoughts only of electric vehicle drivers in Northern Ireland. This results in data that reflects real world experience, rather than assumptions.
These results will be fed back to the EV Task Force and will be used in our other stakeholder meetings too. Thank you to everyone that took part.
- 80.7% of drivers said they were Satisfied or Very Satisfied with their EVs range – Despite still reading about “range anxiety” in the media, the vast majority of drivers are content with the range of their EV. Just 6.3% were Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied.
- 61.3% moved to an EV to make savings – Even with the higher initial purchase price, the majority say they moved to an EV to save money (43.1% Running Costs plus 18.2% Tax Benefits). The 2nd most popular answer was Environmental Benefits 27.6%.
- 88.1% say likely next car will be an EV – 88.1% of owners say they will Likely or Definitely buy another EV. Just 1.6% said Definitely Not.
- 52.7% Say Public Charging is biggest barrier to entry – The dismal public charging network in Northern Ireland continues to be the number one barrier to entry here.
- More than two-thirds (67.8%) said they have to wait Very Often or Always for a charger – This rises to 88.5% when including the About half the time answer.
- 76.1% find it Difficult or Very Difficult to find a working public charger in NI – More than three quarters say it continues to be challenging to find a working public charger.
- Nearly 8 out of 10 (79.6%) said it’s getting Harder to get a public charge – In terms of trends over time, there’s a clear swing to a worsening situation here regarding public charging.
- 94% have a charger at home – This high proportion seems to confirm that it is currently very difficult to own an EV in NI without having access to a charger at home.
- 80.6% attempt to use the public charging network at least once per month – Contrary to some opinion, being able to charge at home does not preclude you from requiring public chargers too.
- 94.1% of respondents drive a full Battery Electric Vehicle – The vast majority of respondents drive a BEV, rather than a PHEV.
- 80.6% of owners bought a new EV – Despite a slow start to the used market, mainly due to the lack of availability, around 1 in 5 (19.4%) bought their EV 2nd hand.
- Only 18.2% charge their EV everyday – The most common answer was Several Times per Week (61.2%), while one in five (20%) only charge Several times a month.
- Almost half of Dealerships (46.4%) are keen to sell an EV – This is a significant change from previous years, when anecdotally, some were discouraging the purchase of EVs.
- 41.1% of Dealers are still not provided enough information on charging – The handover experience may have suffered during the pandemic, but its time for dealers to work harder on charging instructions for new owners.
- The overwhelming majority (95.4%) agree that overstay fees are required – The most popular answer (75.6%) supporting the more punitive option of Ongoing fees after each set period elapses. Just 3.8% believe that overstay fees are Not Required.
- 90.5% back the expansion of Rapid chargers over anything else – Another clearcut answer here with 9 out of 10 backing the expansion of DC Rapid chargers over anything else. 8.9% would prefer to see AC charging prioritised instead.
- 83.6% say they Definitely Could Not swap their cars for public transport and / or active travel – Most EV drivers here could not give up their cars currently, with Just 3.0% said they could.
- The top 3 most popular EVs are the Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf and VW ID.3 – There were 26 difference makes and 72 different models in our survey.
Which council area do you live in
Here’s the ranking and number of EV drivers by Council area, from the most popular to least.
- Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council – 81
- Ards and North Down Borough Council – 70
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – 65
- Belfast City Council – 59
- Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council – 40
- Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council – 37
- Mid and East Antrim Borough Council – 35
- Newry, Mourne and Down District Council – 33
- Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – 29
- Derry City and Strabane District Council – 21
- Mid Ulster District Council – 20
- Other – 4
Is your home address…
- Suburban – 42.1%
- Rural – 33.6%
- Urban – 24.3%
What Age group are you
- 25-50 – 63.6%
- 51-75 – 34.8%
- 17-24 – 0.8%
- 76+ – 0.8%
Gender: How do you identify
- Male – 83.8%
- Female 15.8%
- Prefer not to say 0.4%
The next 3 questions revealed that Tesla is the most common EV brand in NI, with the Model 3 being the most popular model. The ever popular Leaf was second, and shows the importance of maintaining some CHAdeMO facilities going forward. The vast majority of vehicles (71.3%) were bought this year or last. There were no responses from any electric motorcycle owners.
Top 10 EV Brands
Top 10 Models
- Tesla Model 3
- Nissan Leaf
- VW ID.3
- Audi Etron
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Tesla Model Y
- Renault Zoe
- Kia Niro
- Mercedes EQC
- VW ID.4
Top 5 years of purchase
- 2021 – 184 – 37%
- 2022 – 168 – 34%
- 2020 – 75 – 15%
- 2019 – 28 – 6%
- 2018 – 15 – 3%
- Older – 24 – 5%
Is your Electric Vehicle considered a…
Our survey was focussed on plug-in Electric Vehicles and not ‘self-charging’ or ‘mild’ hybrids. Of those that responded the vast majority were full Battery Electric Vehicles (94.1%) with 5.7% Plug-in Hybrids.
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – (inc REX) – 94.1%
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) – 5.7%
- Other – 0.2%
In your Household is this EV your…
In the majority of households (88.3%), the EV is the Primary Vehicle (63.4%) or Only Vehicle (24.9%). 11.3% use their EV as a Secondary Vehicle.
- Primary Vehicle – 63.4%
- Only Vehicle – 24.9%
- Secondary Vehicle 11.3%
- Other – 0.4%
If you have a secondary vehicle, is it…
61.1% of respondents said their secondary vehicle had an Internal combustion engine. 11.9% have a secondary Battery Electric Vehicle while 4.3% have a secondary Plug-in Hybrid.
- Internal combustion engine (ICE) – 61.1%
- Not Applicable – 22.7%
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – 11.9%
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) 4.3%
When you bought it, was your current EV…
Despite a slow start to the used market, mainly due to the lack of availability, around 1 in 5 (19.4%) bought their EV 2nd hand.
- New – 80.6%
- Used – 19.4%
How did you acquire your vehicle?
Personal Lease, Company cars benefits and Salary sacrifice schemes together account for 58.8% of EV acquisitions. Around a third (32.8%) were Bought Outright.
- Bought outright – 32.8%
- Personal Lease – 23.3%
- Company Car benefit – 21.5%
- Salary sacrifice scheme 14.0%
- Other – 6.0%
- Prefer not to say – 2.4%
Thinking about the purchase of your EV, were the dealers keen to sell an EV
In a significant change from previous years, when anecdotally some dealerships were actively discouraging the purchase of EVs, this survey shows most are now keen to sell EVs and just 4.8% were not.
- Yes – 46.4%
- No real preference shown – 34.8%
- They only sell EV’s – 14.0%
- No – 4.8%
When collecting your vehicle were you provided with enough information about charging
Things appear to be improving in regards to dealers passing on information about charging too with half (50.8%) indicating they had received enough information during the handover. However there is still work to be done as 41.1% that feel there was not enough explanation around the charging basics.
- Yes – 50.8%
- No – 41.1%
- Not Sure – 8.1%
How many years have you owned a plugin EV
Unsurprisingly there are many new EV owners here, with the median answer to this question being 1 year. We also have some extremely early adopters owning a plugin vehicle for 10 years or more.
How many miles do you drive per year in your EV
Answers in this section ranged from 1,000 to 80,000 miles per year. The average was 12,688 miles.
If relevant, How many miles do you drive per year in your Non-EV
Answers in this section ranged from 250 to 80,000 miles per year. The average was 6,161 miles.
How often do you drive more than 100 miles in one trip?
The Sometimes, Rarely or Never choices made up 72.4% here, with Very often, Often and About Half the Time making up 27.6%.
- Sometimes – 39.1%
- Rarely – 29.3%
- Often – 13.0%
- Very Often – 9.7%
- About half the time – 4.9%
- Never 4.0%
What influenced you most in moving to an EV
There are a wide range of reasons to move to an EV, but the number one in our survey was financial (Running Costs 43.1%). If we add in Tax Benefits (18.2%) that rises to a a total of 61.3%. That’s perhaps not surprising with current fossil fuel prices. Environmental benefits was the #2 most common answer (27.6%).
- Running costs – 43.1%
- Environmental benefits – 27.6%
- Tax benefits – 18.2%
- Improved Driving Experience – 7.7%
- Other – 2.0%
- Improved Performance – 1.4%
How do you rate the range of your EV for your needs
We still hear a lot about “range anxiety” in the media. However 80.7% of drivers said they were Satisfied or Very Satisfied with their EVs range. 6.3% were Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied.
- Satisfied – 44.5%
- Very satisfied – 36.2%
- Neither satisfied or dissatisfied – 13.0%
- Dissatisfied – 5.5%
- Very dissatisfied – 0.8%
What is the single biggest barrier to entry for EV ownership
It won’t be a shock to most, that over half of EV drivers who responded (52.7%) sighted Issues with Public Charging as the biggest barrier to entry for EV ownership
- Issues with public charging – 52.7%
- Purchase cost of an EV – 35.4%
- Range – 10.1%
- Issues with home charging – 1.2%
- Other – 0.4%
- Towing – 0.2%
How likely is it that your next car will be a plugin EV
Despite the public charging trials and tribulations for NI’s EV drivers, 88.1% of owners say they will Likely or Definitely buy another EV, with 8.5% Undecided, 1.8% say it is Unlikely and just 1.6% said Definitely No.
- Definite Yes – 66.4%
- Likely – 21.7%
- Undecided – 8.5%
- Unlikely – 1.8%
- Definite No – 1.6%
Do you charge mostly at
Home is by far the location for the most frequent charging (71.1%) followed by Public AC (13.6%), Work (10.7%) and Public DC (4.0%).
- Home – 71.1%
- Public AC – 13.6%
- Work – 10.7%
- Public DC – 4.0%
- Other – 0.6%
How often do you charge your car?
Only 18.2% charge their EV Every Day, with the most common answer being Several Times per Week (61.2%), while one in five (20%) only charge Several times a month.
- Several times per week – 61.2%
- Several times a month – 20%
- Every day – 18.2%
- Other – 0.4%
- Rarely – 0.2%
Does your home have off street parking
As it’s next to impossible to own an EV without one, the fact that 92.1% of respondents have an off-street parking spot (and hence a way to charge at home) is not surprising.
- Yes – 92.1%
- No – 7.9%
- Other – 0.0%
Do you have access to a charge point at home
94% have access to a home charger. 80% having a 7 kW unit while 10.3% are still using a 3-pin socket and ICCB (Granny cable) and 3.6% of responders have a 3 phase supply and 22kW charge points at home.
- Yes 7kW – 80.0%
- Yes 3-pin granny lead – 10.3%
- No – 5.1%
- Yes 22kW – 3.6%
- Other – 1.0%
How often do you charge at home?
Three quarters of respondents (75.3%) say they charge About half the time, Often or Very often at home.
- Very Often – 44.6%
- Often – 20.2%
- About half the time – 10.5%
- Sometimes – 10.3%
- Rarely – 8.9%
- Never – 5.5%
How often do you charge at work?
Workplace charging is still relatively uncommon with the most popular answer Never accounting for 65%. Just 15.8% say they use it Often or Very Often. Clearly an area for improvement.
- Never – 65.0%
- Very Often – 9.1%
- Sometimes – 8.3%
- Rarely – 8.1%
- Often – 6.7%
- About half the time – 2.8%
How often do you charge at Public Charging?
The most common answer here was Sometimes (36.7%). Adding in the options for Very Often, Often and About half the time, that rises to 68.3%. Just 3.0% say they Never use the public charging network.
- Sometimes – 36.7%
- Rarely – 28.7%
- Very Often – 12.6%
- Often – 9.5%
- About half the time – 9.5%
- Never – 3.0%
Are you dependent on the public charging network?
More than 1 in 5 people (21.9%) say they are Dependent on the public charging network here.
- No – 78.1%
- Yes – 21.9%
How often do you attempt to charge at a public charge point
Despite 94% being able to charge at home, the majority of drivers (80.6%) attempt to use the public charging network at least once per month. Contrary to some opinion, being able to charge at home does not preclude you from requiring public chargers too.
- Once or twice per month – 46.6%
- Several Times per week – 31.0%
- A few times per year – 17.8%
- Daily – 3.0%
- Other – 1.6%
Do you agree that a minimum uptime a service level agreement should ensure charge points are working 99% of the time
Unsurprisingly almost 97 people out of 100 (96.8%) agree that a 99% uptime should be the SLA for public chargers here. As one comment pointed out, even at that level, a charger could still be down for nearly 4 days per year.
- Yes – 96.8%
- No – 3.2%
How often do you find you need to wait because the charge point is already in use
More than two-thirds (67.8%) said they had to wait Very Often or Always for a charger, rising to 88.5% when including the About half the time answer. We continue to add to the EV fleet every month, without a corresponding growth in public chargers.
- Very Often – 48.0%
- About half the time – 20.7%
- Always – 19.8%
- Rarely – 8.3%
- Never – 3.2%
How often do you find public charge points blocked by ICE vehicles or EVs not charging
There is a more positive result around ICE’ing with the most popular answer being Rarely (44.7%). Although this could also be because EV spaces are in more demand than ever and so there’s less opportunity for them to be ICE’d. 24.3% still find this situation Very Often or Always.
- Rarely – 44.7%
- About half the time – 23.1%
- Very Often – 22.1%
- Never – 7.9%
- Always – 2.2%
How easy or difficult is it to find a working public charge point when you need one
As expected, finding a working public charger in Northern Ireland remains extremely challenging with more than three quarters (76.1%) saying they find it Difficult or Very Difficult.
- Difficult – 43.9%
- Very difficult – 32.2%
- Neither easy nor difficult – 17.8%
- Easy – 5.3%
- Very Easy – 0.8%
Is it becoming easier or harder to get a public charge?
In terms of trends over time, there’s a clear swing to a worsening situation here as nearly 8 out of 10 (79.6%) said it’s getting Harder to get a public charge.
- Harder – 79.6%
- Neither Harder or Easier – 18.6%
- Easier – 1.8%
Do you have any other issues at public charge points
We had many response in this free text section. Here are some examples which represent the most common themes.
- Very few fast chargers. NI government don’t seem to care about EV or are just incompetent. Scotland is the benchmark.
- Woefully inadequate
- ESB mostly broken / not working. Lack of fast chargers
- There seems to be no maintenance done on the ESB chargers – some broken for weeks or even months
- Errors when starting charging, charger not working, charger disconnecting mid charge
- Always faulty, not enough chargers, not enough rapid chargers, not enough marked bays
- State of repair, often out of service lack of maintenance to the charging infrastructure
- Cars finished charging and remaining plugged in for hours
- Free charging makes it too easy for people to hog the point all day
- Cars hogging chargers for long periods of time. There should be a time limit
- Cars overstaying because there are no fees
- I just don’t bother trying anymore
- EV cars using the charging bays for parking without being plugged in
- Disabled access both passenger and driver
- Parking bays difficult to find and too small, especially for the disabled!
- Poor layout, not clearly marked as EV, not working, no cover, security issues at night.
- Poor orientation at the charger with parking spaces not well thought out meaning on occasion turning my car the wrong way on a one way street to get a charge
- Lead positioning and spaces angled make things hard to line up
- Idiotic positioning eg Applegreen M2
- In obscure, poorly designed and poorly lit places. Should be closer to facilities like restaurants and cafes.
- Not enough rapid (chademo) chargers available in general and very poor coverage in west of NI
- Not enough can’t plan a day out because range is only 168 miles
- Leads too short for rapid chargers, no where near enough rapid charge points
- Leads too short, spaces too small, cracked screens
- Screens often too low and hard to read in sunlight
- Leads too short for Etron
- Lighting could be better on dark evenings
- Lack of lighting so difficult to use in the dark
- They are very exposed.. A simple shelter eg bus, would help drivers at rapids & some light
- No signage, often hidden away
- Properly painted areas to indicate EV charging spots. Sometimes one space is left unpainted.
- Behind gates locked at night
- Plug in hybrid cars being left on public chargers all day – we need penalties as in ROI
- The public chargers are too slow. Need more rapid CCS chargers
Are you anxious that you’ll be unable to find a working, available public charge point when travelling?
While range anxiety is becoming a myth, charger anxiety is real, with more than 8 in 10 (85.6%) saying they are Somewhat Anxious or Very Anxious about finding a working, available public charge point when travelling.
- Somewhat Anxious – 52.2%
- Very anxious – 33.4%
- Not anxious – 14.4%
How safe do you feel at public charge points
Less than half of drivers (47.2%) are sure they feel Safe at a public charge points, 44.1% feel Neither Safe nor Unsafe with 3.6% Unsure. 4.3% do Not Feel Safe and one female respondent told us…
When I am travelling solo I plan my charging stops with safety considerations in mind. Particularly as journeys can be early morning or late at night and in winter this is even more an issue. Whilst I am not suggesting the safety aspect is purely about women’s safety it is something I think needs to be addressed if we want to encourage more female EV drivers.
- Safe – 47.2%
- Neither Safe nor Unsafe – 44.1%
- Not Safe – 4.3%
- Unsure – 3.6%
- Other – 0.8%
When using public charge points rank in order of importance what type of location you use the most
It will be of interest to Charge Point Operators that the most popular locations that NI EV drivers wish to see more charge points at, are as follows…
- Public Car Park
- Shopping centre or Retail Park
- Forecourt service station
- Leisure Location – Park, Sportsground, Tourist attraction
- Public Location, Station, Hospital, Library etc.
- Restaurant/Hospitality location
- Local shops
Should Public charge points have rain covers for the units
Half of drivers (50.0%) want to see some form of rain shelter at public chargers, around one third (32%) are Unsure and 17.4% say they are not required.
- Yes – 50.0%
- Unsure – 32.0%
- No – 17.4%
- Other – 0.6%
Should Public charge points have dedicated lighting
There’s no ambiguity around the need for lighting though, with 86.8% answering Yes, just 5.3% saying No and 7.3% Unsure.
- Yes – 86.8%
- Unsure – 7.3%
- No – 5.3%
- Other – 0.6%
Do you find apps useful to see if a charge point is working / available?
Again an overwhelming majority (87.7%) believe apps are useful when checking if a charge point is available. 7.3% said No and 3.2% were Unsure.
- Yes – 87.7%
- No – 7.3%
- Unsure – 3.2%
- Other – 1.8%
Would you prefer to pay…
The answer around how payments should be calculated is clear cut with nearly 9 out of 10 (88.3%) wanting to see billing By the kWh rather than By the minute (8.9%). Just 2.8% answered Other.
- By the kWh – 88.3%
- By the minute – 8.9%
- Other – 2.8%
Should charger point operators add a connect fee?
Only 15% thought that a connection fee should be charged, the majority (63.6%) preferring straight pence / kWh billing.
- No – 63.6%
- Unsure – 20.4%
- Yes – 15.0%
- Other – 1.0%
Should public charging overstay fees be…
Another categorical result with 95.4% agreeing that overstay fees are required. The most popular answer (75.6%) supporting the more punitive option of Ongoing fees after each set period elapses. Just 3.8% believe that overstay fees are not required.
- Ongoing fees after each set period elapses – 75.6%
- Single fee after set time – 19.8%
- Not required 3.8%
- Other – 0.8%
Which type of charging would you like to see prioritised going forward
9 out of 10 (90.5%) back the expansion of DC Rapid chargers over anything else while 8.9% would prefer to see AC charging prioritised instead.
- DC Rapid Charging – 90.5%
- AC Destination Charging – 8.9%
- Other – 0.6%
Do you agree with the statement “Northern Ireland’s Public charging network is fit for purpose”
The most popular answer here was Strongly Disagree (82.8%) increasing to a total of 94.6% when we include the Disagree answer.
- Strongly disagree – 82.8%
- Disagree – 11.8%
- Strongly agree – 3.0%
- Neither agree of disagree – 1.2%
- Agree – 1.2%
What is your preferred method of paying for public charging
The Contactless debit / credit card payment option is the most popular (57.3%) followed by Mobile App (21.1%) and RFID Card / Fob (10.3%).
- Contactless debit / credit card – 57.3%
- Mobile App – 21.1%
- RFID Card / Fob – 10.3%
- Charge & Go (just plugin) – 9.1%
- Chip & PIN debit / credit card – 1.2%
- Other 1.0%
When payment fees for charging are introduced, which of the following will you mostly use?
With so many respondents able to charge at home, it is perhaps surprising to see that the most common answer here was DC charging, with 61.5% saying they would mainly use Rapids or Ultra-Rapids. Home was the next most common choice (29.8%) with AC public charging scoring 7.9%.
- Rapid Charging DC 50-100kW – 40.9%
- Home/Work Charging AC up to 7 kW – 29.8%
- Hyper Charging DC 150kW+ – 20.6%
- Fast Charging AC up to 22kW – 7.9%
- Other – 0.8%
What type of EVANI meetings would you like to see (select all that apply)
A fairly even split between Virtual Zooms (61.9%) and Charge and Chat (54.7%). Just 3.8% wanted something Other.
- Virtual (Zoom) – 61.9%
- Charge and Chat – 54.7%
- Other – 3.8%
Can you suggest a specific NEW location that would be a good site for a public EV charge point
We appealed for specific site locations here and also got some more generic suggestions. We have made a full table of the results in this section available to download – which may be of particular interest to Charge Point Operators.
Could you give up your car and use public transport and/or use active travel instead
The overwhelming majority of EV drivers here (83.6%) say they Definitely could not swap their cars for public transport and / or active travel. Just 3.0% said they could.
- No chance, our public transport in NI is a joke
- I would love to but the infrastructure is not there yet
- Definitely No – 83.6%
- Not sure – 12.0%
- Definitely Yes – 3.0%
- Other – 1.4%