People may be kinder to their family and wider community after buying an electric vehicle (EV).
That’s an unexpected result from the latest Flip the Fleet survey which asked EV owners how their transport habits have changed.
Nearly two thirds (62%) of the 474 EV owners who responded reported that their transport habits either hadn’t changed, or had only changed a little, since buying an EV.
“That shows just how easily EVs fit into most families’ lives,” Christchurch EV owner Megan Reynolds says. “For the majority of families EVs have the range they need for everyday use.
“But more than just doing their job, EVs also bring family and friends closer together as the cheap running costs and enjoyable driving experience mean that I’m more likely to volunteer to do the pick-up and drop-off of other people’s kids,” Reynolds says. “EV ownership has made me more likely to help people.”
A pensioner reported that the one-hour trip to Wellington to visit a new granddaughter used to cost at least $20 in an internal combustion engine (ICE) car.
“Now I visit when I want.”
Children of EV owners are also benefitting. “I’m more likely to take my son directly to football, and without grumbling about his inability to arrange a lift or carpooling,” one busy parent says.
Many EV households are effectively running a combination family fleet programme.
They keep an old petrol or diesel car as a second car, but shift as much of their family’s driving to their EV so they can save money, save the planet and enjoy the better car.
“The old petrol or diesel car is often a backstop,” Reynolds says. “It gets a spin on occasional long trips or to tow the trailer, but often ends up collecting cobwebs while the family prefers to use the EV for everyday transport.”
A car sharing arrangement is used by some owners like Reynolds who lends her car to friends when she’s taking the plane out of town.
A friend using her EV saves the friend petrol costs and mitigates some of Reynold’s carbon guilt from the CO2 produced by flying, she says.
Many owners appreciate the time saved by using the EV access lanes on the Auckland motorway. When in peak traffic they tend to be more chill because the car is not using any fuel when stuck in the queue.
“The survey results showed that EVs are not just changing our mobility, they are also bringing us closer together,” Reynolds says.