It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ customers will transition into buying an electric vehicle, it’s now become a question of ‘when’. The age of automotive electrification is here. NewMotion, a Shell group company, has recently launched an Ebook looking at different buyer profiles of first-time buyers of electric vehicles (EVs) and charge points. We’ll be looking into these buyer profiles and understanding what barriers each face and how these can become benefits to encourage first time EV drivers.
Here in the UK, after a difficult year for the automotive industry, battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales rose by two-thirds in 2020 to over 108,000, and EVs overall outsold diesel cars for the first time. The market is rapidly transitioning beyond early adopters and entering the mainstream, so understanding the wants and needs of new and existing customers should be your top priority.
The Ebook is made up of research into 2000 drivers across the UK. These have been divided into six different buyer profiles including Excited Innovators, Confident Researches, Practical Supporters, Passionate Environmentalists, Happy Optimists and Responsible Organisers. You can download NewMotion’s Charging through the buying journey here.
Attitudes, wants, needs and expectations differ from group to group. Happy Optimists, for example, focused on safety and practicality while the Responsible Organisers focused on cost and reliability.
NewMotion’s Ebook resource will show you how to tailor your approaches to capture these potential buyers, looking at each group’s top 10 important features and how important it is to fulfil each need.
What are the main takeaways from NewMotion’s Ebook?
The traditional one-size-fits-all approach no longer applies. For example, one buyer profile, the Happy Optimists, actually have low confidence in charge points. This is possibly because they get their information from friends and family who aren’t likely to be knowledgeable about charging yet.
Conversely, Passionate Environmentalists, who we might expect to be sceptical, are confident that charging will do what they need it to. Tailor-made sales techniques need to be implemented for each group.
Only one-third of Excited Innovators, who are on the front foot in EV consideration, assume that they’ll buy a charge point from a dealership, compared to 60 percent of Practical Supporters, who are focused on simplicity and good outcomes.
The Electric Vehicle Charging Divide
One big barrier remains and that is ‘how do I charge my new electric vehicle?’. NewMotion’s Ebook looks to present the charging challenge as part of the benefits of EV ownership, and not just a hurdle buyers will have to overcome.
Research across the market found that there is high confidence in charge points’ safety, reliability and ease of use. A total of 37 percent of the people researched see themselves likely to buy an EV in the next five years, which is a huge market with real enthusiasm.
Purchase cost is the biggest worry area, hence the observation that charging is seen as a hurdle. With generally low knowledge levels there is an opportunity to educate consumers on the benefits.
Charge Points and the role of dealerships
Across all six personas, purchasing their charge point from a dealership is the majority preference (38%). There’s an assumption across the respondents that their dealership will offer them a charging solution that will best suit their needs and their chosen EV.
Practical Supporters are most likely to turn to dealerships when purchasing a charge point with 60 percent selected this as their preference.
If you’re interested in reading the full Ebook and learning more about all six buyer profiles you can download it by clicking here.