Brief • 3 min Read
Ready or not, electric vehicles are coming
Following in Tesla’s tire tracks, nearly every legacy automaker has announced plans to integrate new electric vehicles (EVs) into their fleets as soon as this year. While EVs have historically struggled to gain mass market appeal – data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that all-electric vehicles accounted for just 1.7% of the light vehicle market in 2020 – change is on the horizon. Harris Poll research shows that 81% of US adults are concerned about how brands contribute to pollution. Beyond that, 44% are actually making a point to adopt ecofriendly behaviors, indicating that the country is primed to deepen its commitment to green causes.
A focus on infrastructure could proactively address drivers’ biggest EV concerns
The hefty price tag and unique maintenance needs associated with EVs contribute to a high barrier to entry for potential buyers. Research from the Harris Poll shows that 88% of all US adults have some concern about switching to an electric vehicle, with battery life and access to charging stations topping the list at 32% and 20% respectively. As a result, the automotive industry will need to offer more than vehicles to move drivers through the conversion funnel – and some brands are already rising to the occasion.
Legacy OEMs have sought to alleviate drivers’ range anxiety by developing partnerships with existing public charging networks
Hyundai directly addresses top EV concerns
Hyundai announced an agreement with Electrify America to provide drivers with two years of unlimited free sessions at any of the network’s more than 2,000 fast chargers. The OEM’s unique approach to developing its EV business appears to be successful. Following the late-April announcement, the Harris Brand Platform shows that Hyundai’s total brand equity jumped 13.5% – from 54.6 to 62.0. This, in addition to consumers’ increasing tendency to associate Hyundai as being a good value, indicate that the program could provide enough incentive to get perspective EV drivers behind the wheel.
GM’S INTEGRATED CHARGING PLATFORM PUTS A CONTEMPORARY TWIST ON A CLASSIC BRAND
General Motors has partnered with 7 of the largest public charging networks in North America to create an integrated charging experience across 60,000 chargers: Ultium Charge 360. While the arrangement doesn’t offer GM drivers any exclusivity – or discounts – on chargers, it does aggregate payment information, station locations, and more into a single app. As one of the longest-running OEMs in the US, GM has developed a reputation for being dependable and traditional. However, its tech-savvy charging platform is helping the automaker keep up with the times – a must-have for the modern driver, as highlighted by the OEM’s 4% increase in consideration between April 2021 and May 2021.
EVs’ overall market share is still small, but it won’t be for long
Electric vehicles (EVs) have been on the road for more than a decade, but this year marks the first time that the auto industry has put its full weight behind the initiative. Already half (51%) of US adults would consider buying an EV . As automotive brands continue to lower barriers to entry, that share will only increase. The steady growth that all-electric vehicle sales have seen over the past five years isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon.
These surveys were conducted online within the United States among adults ages 18 and older, with additional branding insights provided by Harris Brand Platform. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For more information on methodology, please contact Madelyn Franz.
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