Your Influence Matters: Peer Influence and EV Adoption

More than a Cup of Sugar: The Neighborhood Effect and EV Adoption

Our neighbors, friends, and loved ones are the ones we turn to for help, advice, even a cup of sugar sometimes. This new report, Your Influence Matters: Peer Influence and EV Adoption, shows that they also play a key role in encouraging us to drive electric. That really matters when it comes to cutting climate-harming emissions.

This new report shows how another person’s influence really matters when it comes to encouraging clean energy behaviors like driving electric.

Designated Market Areas from across the U.S. 

Key Findings

  • EV registrations experienced significant growth across all 11 DMAs studied, compared to the national average:
    • Philadelphia, PA:  426% growth
    • Charlotte, NC: 476% growth
    • National average:  328% growth
  • Car buyers are more likely to consider an electric vehicle if their neighbors have one:  Analyses of new vehicle registrations in 11 cities (called “designated market areas” or DMAs), indicate strong evidence of peer influence on the growth in EV sales.
  • EV registrations experienced significant growth from 2018-2022 across all 11 DMAs studied, compared to the national average.
  • Researchers performed geospatial analysis to determine EV registration “hot spots” for year 2018 and 2022.
  • The analysis was performed using data and insight commissioned from S&P Global Mobility and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  • Interviews with EV owners, highlighted in ten report case studies, illustrate the peer effect, including stories about the benefits of driving electric.
This report represents the first time this type of cluster analysis has been conducted broadly across key U.S. markets to identify zip codes experiencing high EV registration, while accounting for the neighborhood effect.
The New York DMA provided a strong example of peer influence at work

Hot Spot 99% Confidence

Hot Spot 95% Confidence

Hot Spot 90% Confidence

Not Significant

Cold Spot 90% Confidence

Cold Spot 95% Confidence

Cold Spot 99% Confidence

EV Ambassadors

“I began going electric in 2017, I started with solar, then added an electric car. It benefits me and my family plus has an impact on the environment – these actions represent me.”

Nica Mendoza (Richmond, VA)

“I recognize the power of influencing other friends and family. Neighbors have asked me about my new EV, and I share information with work colleagues.”

Chris Jewell (Arlington, VA)

“Everyday suburban people can do it. EVs are an everyday family car that is within reach.”

Helena Von Rueden (Midlothian, VA)

“Gas mileage is the top thing that gets people to listen – it’s eye opening. Our EV is a modern vehicle with a lot of bells and whistles, low maintenance, and practically drives itself.”

Pamela Jacobson Bowhers (Virginia Beach, VA)

“This is my drop in the bucket. If enough people make enough drops, we make a difference.”

Stan Bergkamp (Maize, Kansas)

“There is no question Paul and Claire definitely put us on the path to full electrification with the introduction to hybrid vehicles.”

Charles and Beth Huber (Westminster, MD)

“My Hyundai Kona EV has great range, so even though we’re a one-car household, we can still do a lot of exploring. It’s also a treat to drive, and tax credits for used EVs made it much more affordable for us.”

Lisa Frank (Hyattsville, MD)

“I am an ambassador for Plug-In NC. I attend events, where I often bring my car and talk about EVs.”

Robbi Walls (Charlotte, NC)

“Having grown up in the Southern Baptist church, I remember the saying ‘your actions always speak louder than your words’. For me, that also applies to driving electric.”

Chris Maxwell (Raleigh, NC)

“Generating solar energy from the sun to power my home, my auto, and my church is doing all I can to reduce global warming while also being financially attractive.”

David Strevel (Raleigh, NC)