Numerator: Rural EV Owners Spend 13% More at Gas and C-Stores

While urban shoppers are generally more reliant on small-format convenience stores.

June 12, 2024

Numerator published findings on EV ownership and its impact on consumer behavior in its report “Charging Ahead in the Era of Electric Vehicles (EVs).” The analysis combines survey insights and purchase data from verified EV owners.

Numerator’s purchase data findings show that EV owners gravitate toward different retailers than the average consumer—they are twice as likely to shop at IKEA (1.8x) or Whole Foods (1.7x), which the research firm noted are leaders in EV charging.

Overall, EV owners spend 6% less in the gas and convenience channel compared to the average consumer, but the dip is entirely driven by suburban EV owners, who spend 18% less than other suburban drivers.

However, urban and rural EV owners remain reliant on gas and convenience retailers, Numerator said. Urban and rural EV owners spend 3% and 13% more at gas and convenience stores than their non-electric counterparts. Rural households with electric vehicles are more likely than other rural drivers to own more than three vehicles, while urban shoppers are generally more reliant on small-format convenience stores.

According to Numerator, the average EV owner is younger, more diverse and has a higher income than the average vehicle owner—42% of EV owners are Gen Z’ers or Millennials (vs. 30% of all vehicle owners); 44% are Black, Hispanic, or Asian (vs. 31%); and 44% come from high-income households (vs. 30%).

Over three quarters of EV owners reported charging their vehicle at home, followed by other public charging stations (45%), their work/office (34%), retail locations (25%) and gas stations (16%). Additionally, nearly two-thirds (61%) of EV owners say they are more likely to shop somewhere with charging stations.

Demographically, Numerator reported that most EV owners (77%) are part of a household that has two or more vehicles. Numerator also noted that EV ownership varies by regionality and urbanicity, with 30% of EV owners residing in the Pacific U.S., with an additional 8% in the mountain region. Forty-six percent of EV owners reside in urban settings.

Nearly half (46%) of EV owners say they own a Tesla, followed by Chevy (13%), Ford (11%), Hyundai/Kia (11%), Nissan (7%) and BMW (7%). The top reason people gave for choosing an EV was cost savings on fuel (74%), followed by lower maintenance costs, environmental concerns, the vehicle’s appearance and features, tax credits and more.