According to the latest 2023 Global Driver Survey conducted by market research company Borderless Access, drivers worldwide are calling for enhanced in-car parking and charging functionality. The survey, which gathered responses from 5,454 motorists globally, including 2,225 electric vehicle (EV) owners, highlighted the challenges drivers face in locating parking spaces and EV charging stations. The majority of drivers expressed the need for features that assist in finding available parking and charging destinations, as well as enabling payments through their vehicles.
Parking: Widespread parking struggles reported
Locating available parking spaces remains a significant challenge worldwide, with 92% of respondents indicating difficulties in finding parking. Globally, 8% of drivers reported facing this issue every time they search for parking. The underutilization of connected services was also evident across the board. In the United States, 18% of motorists encounter parking difficulties during every search, with significant variations between states. New York (58%), California (47%), and Texas (46%) had a higher percentage of drivers facing frequent parking challenges compared to Ohio (23%).
Nearly half of the respondents worldwide considered parking information as extremely or very important, including 67% of American drivers and 72% of US EV owners. Only 3% of global respondents regarded parking information as unimportant, with an even lower figure in the US. Consequently, 77% of respondents expressed their desire for vehicles with integrated parking services, allowing them to navigate directly to parking locations. This sentiment was particularly high among EV drivers, with 86% of global EV owners and 91% of US EV owners expressing interest in integrated parking services.
EV Charging: Strong demand for improved charging services
Similar to the demand for parking assistance, a significant proportion of drivers worldwide want their vehicles to help them locate EV charging points and facilitate in-car payments. Charging anxiety was a prominent concern among EV drivers, with more than 90% feeling anxious about finding charging locations away from home. The anxiety level reached 91% in Europe and 92% in the US.
Unfortunately, charging anxiety is not unfounded, as 44% of EV drivers have reported running out of charge, and 22% have experienced multiple instances of being stranded due to a lack of charge. These figures were notably high in the US, with almost half of EV owners running out of charge and a quarter falling short of their destination multiple times. In Europe, one in five motorists encountered running out of charge more than once.
Additionally, 92% of EV drivers worldwide expressed difficulties in locating charging points away from home, with 22% stating this as a frequent or constant issue. The figure rose to 35% for American EV drivers, emphasizing the need for technology to assist in finding suitable charging points.
Furthermore, half of US EV drivers face challenges in locating specific EV charge points at least once a month, with 22% experiencing this issue on a weekly basis. Nearly half of EV drivers globally have encountered occupied or out-of-order chargers while attempting to charge their vehicles. This issue is particularly prevalent in the US and Germany, where around one-third of drivers in both countries faced physical access issues to chargers.
Parking fines during charging: An additional concern
The survey revealed that finding parking is a significant issue in many countries, with almost one in five US drivers reporting difficulties finding parking during every journey. Charging an electric vehicle not only causes stress for many EV drivers but can also lead to unexpected parking fines. In fact, 58% of surveyed EV drivers have received unexpected parking fines while charging their vehicles, including a concerning 68% of US EV owners. Accurate parking and charging information were identified as crucial in addressing this issue. EV owners considered parking information more important than petrol and diesel vehicle drivers, likely due to the extended duration of parking during charging and the higher risk of fines.
Moreover, more than half of EV drivers who received parking fines while charging believe that more accurate information could have prevented the fines, with 39% suggesting in-car payments as a solution. In-car payments were the most requested option, as they offer the combined benefits of accurate payment for parking and charging.
Impact on vehicle choice and in-car commerce
Nearly half of American EV drivers reported running out of charge, with a quarter experiencing this issue multiple times. Consequently, US drivers expressed a strong interest in in-car payments to simplify the payment process when they find suitable chargers. Globally, almost 90% of EV respondents preferred vehicles that provide the ability to locate public EV charging stations, access parking information, navigate directly to charging stations, and pay for charging and parking through the vehicle’s media system. For 92% of current US petrol and diesel car owners, these features would alleviate anxiety about transitioning to an EV.
Furthermore, 96% of existing EV drivers stated that combined “Park and Charge” features would make them more likely to choose another EV. In-car activations and payments for charging were also considered valuable standalone features, with 84% of EV drivers expressing their importance.
The demand for in-car commerce continues to rise, with 60% of global respondents valuing vehicle-centric in-car payments and 48% desiring Single Sign-On access across providers. American drivers expressed the strongest desire for these features, with 70% valuing vehicle-centric in-car commerce and 61% appreciating Single Sign-On.
The survey results highlight the consistent, widespread, and substantial challenges faced by motorists worldwide when it comes to parking and charging. The findings underscore the importance of automakers addressing these concerns directly and providing accurate data and desirable connected services to drivers. Reliable and accurate information and services can alleviate the inconvenience, stress, and anxiety associated with parking and charging, ultimately promoting a smoother transition to electric vehicles and enhancing the overall driving experience.
Pre-registration for the complete 2023 Global Driver Survey report is available for those interested in further insights.