Marketing electric vehicles continues to accelerate, with automakers across the globe looking to increase fleet electrification. Almost every major car manufacturer, including Ford, General Motors, Honda, BMW, Volkswagen, and Hyundai, has announced detailed plans for electric-vehicle adoption. The rapidly expanding lineup of these electric vehicles is projected to be diverse, ranging from SUVs to supercars.
Electric vehicles have often been thought of as niche products, representing a small share of the population, but their growth is strong. And with companies setting bold deadlines for electric cars, including a handful who have pledged to only sell EVs by 2030, the number of electric vehicle car owners in the U.S. is rising.
As the world goes electric, there are challenges specific to marketing electric vehicles, and auto companies may need to reevaluate their traditional marketing methods. Access to charging stations, anxiety over range and charging times, and price are the three main issues facing the mass adoption of electric vehicles. In order to overcome these challenges, it’s important to create a compelling message that highlights the benefits of electric vehicles. Safeguard’s automotive marketing experts can help you with innovative marketing for electric vehicles.
What is the size of the electric vehicle market in the U.S. right now?
In 2020 there were nearly 1.8 million EVs registered in the U.S., three times the number from 2016, according to the International Energy Agency. A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that while only 7 percent of U.S. adults said they currently have an electric or hybrid vehicle, 39 percent said they were likely to seriously consider an electric vehicle as their next new vehicle purchase.
Challenge #1: Access to Charging Stations
From 2016 to 2020, the number of all-electric vehicles in the U.S. soared from 300,000 to more than 1.1 million. Worldwide the number of electric car models available for purchase increased 40 percent just between 2019 and 2020. As EV ownership increases, the availability of charging stations is a major concern for many potential EV customers. While the majority of current EV owners charge their cars at home, expanded infrastructure is needed to address the ability to make long-distance trips as well as drivers who live in apartments or other residences without easy access to a charger.
To alleviate these concerns, auto manufacturers have continued to advocate for an increased number of charging stations and expanded infrastructure along highways and in major cities. According to the Department of Energy, the US currently has a total of around 120,000 charging ports and nearly 43,000 public EV charging stations. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecasted that there could be close to 500,000 by 2030.
Challenge #2: Driving Range and Charging Times
One of the first questions many consumers ask when considering the purchase of an electric vehicle is how long it takes to charge. Consumers accustomed to driving a gasoline-powered car are accustomed to pulling into a gas station, filling up their tank, and getting back out on the road in just a few minutes. Running low on fuel is rarely a big deal. Charging behavior for an EV is significantly different.
While most people drive less than 40 miles per day and are easily able to charge their electric vehicles at home overnight, there are situations where they need or want to drive long distances. Many consumers are uneasy about taking trips that exceed the range of their vehicles, concerned both about running out of power before they reach a charging station and the prospect of a long charging time.
Mileage for electric cars can vary, but according to the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, current electric vehicles can travel an average of 250 miles on a charge. Going forward, many automakers have announced plans for electric vehicles with ranges exceeding 400 miles as well as faster charging times.
Challenge #3: Cost of Electric Vehicle Ownership
Battery technology is expensive, often resulting in higher sticker prices for electric cars compared to their gasoline-fueled counterparts. However, a study by Consumer Reports shows that the purchase price isn’t the only cost to consider. The report showed that compared to gas-powered vehicles, EVs have lower lifetime maintenance costs and lower overall costs. Another study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed that electric vehicles could save consumers anywhere between $4,500 to $12,000. Sales staff must understand how to discuss these total costs of ownership with customers.
Electric vehicle owners may also benefit under proposed tax credits as part of the Build Back Better bill. The latest revisions of the bill include a $12,500 EV tax credit, up from the current $7,500 available to qualifying cars and buyers. The price cap for qualifying EVs is also proposed to increase, as well as reduce income eligibility to claim the full credit. All of which could add up to major savings for EV buyers.
Marketing Electric Vehicles Requires Innovative Strategies
Keep in mind that the electric vehicle market encompasses the three main types of EVs, including the standard EV, also known as a battery-powered electric vehicle, the hybrid electric vehicle, and the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Though electric vehicles are now fixtures of the auto industry, many misconceptions surrounding EV ownership remain.
Marketing electric vehicles will require innovative strategies to spark interest and drive sales. It’s important to know that the majority of car buyers conduct most of their purchasing journeys online. At Safeguard, our automotive marketing experts specialize in digital marketing strategies that can help you reach customers sooner, no matter where they are. Count on Safeguard to provide traffic-driving solutions that bring customers to your showroom. Call 844-4CARBIZZ to get started.
- There are challenges specific to marketing electric vehicles which may require auto companies to reevaluate their traditional marketing methods.
- Access to charging stations, anxiety over range and charging times, and price are the three main issues facing the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
- Marketing EVs will require innovative strategies to spark interest and drive sales.
- At Safeguard, our automotive marketing experts specialize in digital marketing strategies.