Improving EV Awareness

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The Idaho National Laboratory study in Vermont explained the following: “Raising overall public awareness is critical in getting early adopters to buy new PEV (plug-in electric vehicle) models, and starting a transition to “early majority” consumers. Other important theory for successful outreach & education are defined by community building, leading by example, and development in public policies. It’s important to correctly, responsively, and in a simple way inform people about PEVs and the charging infrastructure, including applicability for different types of users, costs, maintenance, and processes. It is challenging to establish metrics for outreach and education, but DEV has been asked to represent at many events & venues. Shortly, DEV will be conducting a 2nd survey of VT resident’s attitudes toward PEVs to accurately assess the results of marketing efforts and reexamine key hurdles and motivators to PEV adoption. DEV has made progress on the long-range goal of progressing beyond PEV awareness to buying activity.

In 2012, DEV led a Kick-Off PEV Demo Event with politicians and the general public. A ride & drive was organized and included auto dealerships, suppliers, legislators, and more. Plug-in America has vast resources on conducting these programs that are useful in maximizing proper planning for these events, which often involve some efforts and eventually seem to reach a point of diminishing returns once a specific area has been covered for a period.

The keys to enhancing consumer knowledge and acceptance of PEVs, is creating highly visible marketing through many events, website development, and social media. It’s also important to connect with national efforts (such as the U.S. DOE EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge) and local or more regional initiatives (including Section 177 state efforts). DEV’s education has focused on web-based development, ride and drives, videos, press releases, news articles, radio shows, a PEV charging installation guide, social media such as blogs, and more. One-stop shopping for PEV-related information and real time data are particularly important. To cultivate a PEV champion in the press, with a firm focus on specifics is great. Beginning in 2015, DEV initiated structure and implementation of a summer outreach & education. Two vides were developed featuring internet banner ads purchased through a media buy. One such video highlighted Olympian Ross Powers driving a PHEV in Vermont’s difficult winter conditions and also fostered an animated introduction to PEV technologies. Late 2015 and early 2016 activities include a planned renewal of the consumer/dealer PEV incentives and ongoing stakeholder interaction.” The complete study is available at

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