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2023 Global Driver Survey reveals increasing demand for accurate parking and charging data and in-car connected services

Drivers worldwide are demanding greater in-car parking and charging functionality, according to the latest 2023 Global Driver Survey, completed in May 2023 by award-winning market research company, Borderless Access. The survey collated the responses of 5454 motorists worldwide, including 2225 EV owners, and surfaced that the majority of drivers regularly struggle to locate parking and EV charging locations and would value features that help them find available parking and charging destinations and pay for these through their vehicles.

Parking: Motorists worldwide highlight parking struggles
Finding available parking spaces is a significant challenge worldwide, with 92% of respondents highlighting difficulties in locating parking and 8% globally stating this occurs every time they look for available parking, also reflecting an underutilisation of embedded connected services shown across the board. Meanwhile, 18% of US motorists have difficulties on every parking search, with significant differences between states: 58% of drivers in New York, 47% in California and 46% in Texas face parking challenges “very frequently” or “all the time”, whereas this number drops to 23% in Ohio.

Nearly half of global respondents deem parking information as extremely or very important, including 67% of American drivers and 72% of US EV owners. Meanwhile, only 3% of global respondents considered parking information as not important, with an even lower figure in the US. As a result, 77% of global respondents say that they would value having a vehicle that offers integrated parking services, enabling them to navigate directly to parking locations. This includes 86% of global EV drivers, rising to 91% of US EV owners.

EV Charging: Drivers demand better charging services
Just as drivers worldwide showed a strong desire for their vehicles to help them find parking, a similar proportion want their vehicles to assist with locating EV charge points and facilitating in-car payments. Charging anxiety is a well-established concern among EV drivers, but the latest Global Driver Survey highlights just how significant an issue this is – both for automakers looking to increase uptake of electric models and for drivers themselves, who stress about charging in public.

More than 90% of EV drivers worldwide feel anxious about finding somewhere to charge away from home, with that figure hitting 91% in Europe and 92% in the US.

Unfortunately, charging anxiety is not an unfounded fear, with 44% of EV drivers reporting that they have run out of charge and 22% finding themselves stranded multiple times. These figures are particularly high in the US, with nearly half of EV owners running out of charge and a quarter ending up short of their destination with a flat battery multiple times. Meanwhile, one in five European motorists have run out of charge more than once.

Contributing to this problem, 92% of EV drivers worldwide flagged how they struggled to locate charging points away from home, with 22% highlighting this as a very frequent or constant issue for them. This second figure jumps to a substantial 35% for American EV drivers, highlighting a significant need for technology to help drivers locate suitable charging points.

Demonstrating the scale of the problem, half of US EV drivers fail to locate specific EV charge points at least once a month, with 22% saying that this is a weekly issue. Nearly half of EV drivers globally have encountered occupied or “out-of-order” chargers while looking to plug in their vehicles. This is a particular issue in the US and Germany, with around one-third of drivers in the two countries also experiencing issues physically accessing chargers.

Large proportion of EV drivers hit with unexpected parking fines while charging
Not only did respondents highlight that finding parking is a significant issue in many countries, but they also wanted more accurate parking information. Nearly one in five drivers in the US complained of difficulties with finding parking on every journey.

Charging an electric car is not only a stressful experience for many EV drivers, but it can also be expensive, with many EV owners being issued unexpected parking fines while charging. 58% of EV drivers surveyed have received unexpected parking fines while charging their vehicles, including an alarming 68% of US EV owners, highlighting the importance of clear and accurate parking and charging information. The survey also revealed that EV owners deem parking information more important than drivers of petrol and diesel vehicles – likely due to the extended stay times and higher risks of parking fines while charging.

Crucially, more than half of EV drivers who have received parking fines while charging believe that more accurate information would have actually prevented them from being fined, with 39% citing in-car payments as a solution to this problem – the most requested option – thanks to the combined benefits of being able to accurately pay for parking and charging simultaneously. 

Quality of connected car services heavily impacts drivers’ choice of their next vehicle
Nearly half of American EV drivers reported running out of charge, with this occurring multiple times for a quarter of US EV drivers. Consequently, US motorists have a particular interest in in-car payments to simplify the payment process when they do manage to find a suitable charger.

Nearly 90% of global EV respondents would prefer to have a vehicle that offers the ability to locate public EV charging and navigate directly to these, including 91% of US EV owners. These features are no longer regarded as ‘nice-to-haves’ but essentials for EV owners that affect their future vehicle choice according to the survey data.

Globally, nearly 9 out of 10 respondents say they would be more likely to purchase an EV if it had ‘Park and Charge’ functionality, enabling them to locate chargers, get associated parking information, navigate directly to these and pay for charging (and parking), all via their vehicle’s media system. For 92% of current US petrol and diesel car owners this would reduce the anxiety of buying an EV.

Meanwhile, 96% of existing EV drivers say that combined Park and Charge features would make them more likely to get another EV. In-car activations and payments for charging are also seen as valuable standalone features with 84% of EV drivers valuing these.

In-car commerce demand continues to rise
In-car commerce is a rapidly growing industry, with connected vehicles now offering drivers the ability to pay for services such as parking, EV charging, road tolls and even food, directly from the vehicle. Demand for these features continues to increase, with 60% of global respondents valuing vehicle-centric in-car payments and 48% wanting Single Sign-On access across providers, enabling them to access multiple service providers through one account in their vehicle. American drivers have the strongest desire for these features, with 70% of US motorists surveyed wanting vehicle-centric in-car commerce and 61% valuing Single Sign-On.

Reviewing the most requested in-vehicle services, 64% of global respondents would value having in-car payment options for parking, while 75% of current EV drivers would like to be able to pay for EV charging through their car. American drivers again are particularly keen on having these features, with 68% valuing in-car payments for parking and 81% of US EV drivers wanting to pay for charging from their car. Interestingly, nearly double the amount of respondents requested vehicle-centric options as opposed to food choices for in-car payments.

Commenting on the survey results, Eugene Tsyrklevich, Founder and CEO of Parkopedia, said: “We know that finding parking and charging can be challenging in many countries, however, we were surprised by the consistency, scale and breadth of the problems reported by motorists around the world in our latest survey. This highlights the importance of automakers addressing these concerns directly and providing accurate data and the most desired connected services.

“Currently, locating parking and charging is not only an inconvenience, but a significant stress and cause for anxiety for many drivers, with surprisingly high numbers of EV drivers reporting running out of charge and being stung with parking fines when they do manage to find a charger. With today’s connected vehicles, we believe that these situations can, and should be avoided, by providing trustworthy and accurate data and services to drivers, so if desired, they are able to successfully transition to EVs, or at least complete their journeys with ease.”

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