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Plug-in hybrids drive electrically half of the time

Plug-in hybrids drive electrically with power from the grid 55% of the time. Battery electric vehicles are driven more in total and in everyday traffic.

Battery electric vehicles are more energy efficient, pollute less and emit fewer greenhouse gases than vehicles powered by fossil fuels. Plug in hybrid vehicles are in a mid-position, capable of prolonged driving in electric mode with electricity charged from the grid or the use of fossil fuel in an internal combustion engine.

The Institute of Transport Economics recently conducted a survey among 8000 vehicle owners in Norway. It shows that plug-in hybrids drive electrically with power from the grid 55% of the time.

Buyers of battery electric vehicles and plug in hybrid vehicles have different transport needs but both are motivated by economy of use and environment, whereas battery electric vehicle owners  are also motivated by the free toll road incentive. Battery electric vehicle owners are younger, have more children, longer distance to work and own more vehicles than other vehicle owners.

Normally diesel and gasoline vehicles are replaced when buying a battery electric vehicle, but a larger share of battery electric vehicles become extra vehicles in households. These owners could belong to an age group and family type where such behavior is more common or indicate a potential rebound effect.

The vehicles are mainly charged at home, partly at work and rarely elsewhere. Fast charging is used for irregular trips where users plan to use them to accomplish the trip or to solve a problem on the go.

Most battery electric vehicle owners manage everyday life well. They are satisfied with the vehicle and with the attractive local incentives not available to other vehicle users. This experience may explain why battery electric vehicle and plug-in hybrids do not seem to compete for the same customer.

Peer-to-peer influences is particularly important to diffusion of battery electric vehicles being the biggest source of information leading to the purchase. Plug-in hybrid buyers received most information leading to the purchase from dealers and advertising material.

No information existed prior to this survey on the usage pattern of plug-in hybrids in Norway. For battery electric vehicles a similar survey was carried out in 2014, which makes it possible to track progress over time.

Full report (in English): Learning from Norwegian Battery Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle users - Results from a survey of vehicle owners. TØI report 1492/2016. Authors: Erik Figenbaum and Marika Kolbenstvedt


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