Concepts and habits from gasoline refueling found to mislead EV charging

Concepts and habits from gasoline refueling found to mislead EV charging

April 9, 20242 min read

Many electric vehicle (EV) drivers carry over concepts and habits acquired from driving gasoline cars when they are charging of EVs – but the mismatch leads to time wasted, inconvenience and “range anxiety” about not finding a charger when needed, according to a new study published in the journal Energy.

The research was carried out by Professors Willett Kempton of the University of Delaware and Frances Sprei of Chalmers University in Sweden, both experts in EV technology and usage.

They interviewed EV users in both Sweden and the United States, finding unanticipated and previously unreported concepts and habits of EV charging.

Among the other findings:

  • If industry and consumers take advantage of these findings, that could lead to more effective charging methods, help new EV buyers adapt, and inform planning of charging stations.

  • Novice EV drivers, and even many of those who had months of EV experience, monitor the battery charge gauge while driving, then when the gauge is low, seek a charging station to recharge. This “monitor gauge” model is derived from driving gasoline-powered vehicles.

  • By contrast, the study found that a few experienced EV drivers had developed a strategy of selecting a trigger event, and using it to spur them to plug in their EV.

“Some of the more sophisticated EV users had picked a repeating event that happens at a place they can plug in and at a time or event lasting several hours. This is common when returning home at the end of the day or arriving at work," Kempton said. “A few people had selected unexpected triggers, such as shopping, and for one, when walking his dog in the evening.”

To arrange an interview with Kempton, visit his profile and click on the "contact button" – this message will reach him directly. Or contact UD's media relations department.

Connect with:
  • Willett Kempton
    Willett Kempton Professor, Marine Science and Policy

    Prof. Kempton invented vehicle-to-grid power (V2G); he researches, publishes and lectures on offshore wind power and on electric vehicles.

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