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Becoming an Electric Car Owner – User Experience and the EV Community

William Clayton (University of the West of England - UWE Bristol, UK)

Electrifying Mobility: Realising a Sustainable Future for the Car

ISBN: 978-1-83982-635-1, eISBN: 978-1-83982-634-4

Publication date: 17 October 2022


This chapter is a review and discussion of the experience of becoming an Electric Vehicle (EV) owner, with a focus on the importance of online EV communities on social media platforms in providing informal support to new owners during the transition into EV ownership and use.

Becoming an EV owner represents a significant disruption to drivers’ very established and comfortable driving practices. Electric cars force their owners to re-think long-habitual aspects of the driving experience, including driving behaviour, refuelling (practicalities and etiquette), route planning, and the extent of the car’s ‘sphere of access’.

Because of this disruption, new EV owners regularly encounter challenges, including charging, range, new technology, route planning, etiquette, and more. People often need support to overcome these challenges, and EV owner groups on social media are an important source of such support; new owners can receive advice on a range of issues. This chapter presents data extracted from EV owner social media group posts, analysing the discussions and advice that EV owners offer one another, and exploring the various forms of important support available to new owners/drivers.

This chapter shows how online EV communities are very actively used by EV owners and are of particular importance for new owners. These communities welcome new owners/drivers, offer support and advice, respond to questions, give recommendations, and encourage socialising and a form of group identity/bonding. With EV ownership rapidly increasing in many countries, online EV communities have a very important role to play in helping facilitate the international transition to electric mobility.



Clayton, W. (2022), "Becoming an Electric Car Owner – User Experience and the EV Community", Parkhurst, G. and Clayton, W. (Ed.) Electrifying Mobility: Realising a Sustainable Future for the Car (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 15), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 135-157.



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