It’s time to rethink the way we market electric vehicles.

At first glance, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States appears to be on track. Axios data shows that 4.6% of new vehicles registered in the US in May 2022 were electric, up from just 1.9% in May 2021. 

A July report from Bloomberg details how the US passed a major milestone by selling 5% of all vehicles July report from Bloomberg details how the US passed a major milestone by selling 5% of all vehicles. Electric cars have created quite a buzz, as the country is expected to reach 25 options by 2025, according to the report. That optimism is welcome news for automakers, which are devoting millions of dollars to research and development and marketing to bring dozens of electric car models to market in the coming years. 

A year However, this optimism does not stop without some reason. 

A Bloomberg analysis confirmed the trends based on the 18 countries that came in ahead of the US in 5th place in stock options, all of which are in Europe except for China, South Korea, New Zealand, and Iceland. Given the relative homogeneity of Europe in terms of demographics, income, and EV infrastructure compared to the US, where one state holds nearly 40 percent of all EV registrations, There is a gap to be bridged in the US. So far, the electric car market represents only a small part of the population that can afford the average price of more than $66,000.

Regarding price, the most common reason for delaying an electric car purchase, the IEA reports that the weighted average selling price of electric cars in the United States at the end of 2021 was $58,000, much higher than the EU ($48,000) and China ($27,000). Add to that the impressive list of incentives provided by EU countries to entice car buyers to buy electric cars, and it’s clear that American car brands can’t just rely on precedents set in Europe and Asia to predict results here at home.

Acquiring rare earths has domestic challenges in addition to price, while relying on foreign aid is increasingly difficult as geopolitical tensions grow on multiple fronts. Until now, the freight infrastructure has been largely dependent on state and local investments, which is why large areas of the country are underdeveloped. But perhaps the biggest challenge to overcome is simply convincing car buyers that EVs make sense for their lifestyles, especially in areas of the country where adoption has been slow for the reasons mentioned earlier.

ev charging and digital twin

There is good news on the horizon for US electric car buyers as this effort grows organically. Prices are expected to drop in the coming years as major brands roll out new models, leveraging partnerships and years of manufacturing capacity (plus cheaper batteries) to deliver mainstream vehicles. Infrastructure projects will receive bipartisan support to build charging stations along major interstate highways in addition to rural and underserved communities across the country. But what should car brands do in the face of these projects that make electric cars more accessible to the general population?

Author Geoffrey Moore, in his seminal work Crossing the Chasm, uses the sociologist Everett Roger’s Life Cycle of Technology Adoption to argue that there is a “gap” between the “early adopters” of technology and the “early majority,” who are more mainstream… a segment of the population where innovations are gaining momentum and becoming a central part of everyday life. Considering the current share of electric cars across the five variants and their price points, it’s clear that we’re only at the beginning of adoption. However, as prices fall and infrastructure improves, car marketers can take several steps to capture an early majority in the market.

Consumer Education 

The next wave of EV adoption by the early majority will occur in places other than the San Francisco Bay Area, where early adopters and EV enthusiasts tend to congregate. This requires a highly coordinated effort from car brands, dealers, and marketers. One way to implement from a digital video perspective could be to combine the elements of Level 1 and Level 3 messaging into the same creative unit, describing the features and benefits of EV ownership through a brand-centric video message while adding content for people to fill out and consult through local merchant maps and inventory. Incorporating expert content from endemic automotive websites is another proven way to build credibility and deliver valuable information that a buyer would otherwise have to gather on their own. Combining the “why” of ownership with educational content and the “how” of retailer expertise, we help early majority buyers bridge the critical knowledge gap that exists today.

Risk Reduction 

Early majority adopters are more pragmatic than early adopters, who don’t mind dealing with product defects or repairs as long as they have access to the latest technology. Early majority buyers want complete solutions, the kind that are ready to use “for example,” which is not quite the place for electric cars today (so many of these buyers may consider hybrids as a bridge vehicle before buying a battery-only electric car). Digital videos with owner experiences, trusted social influencers, fuel economy, or mileage will ease their sense of risk.

Redeeming brand equity

While Tesla currently dominates the electric car market due to its early adopter leadership, established brands have a huge opportunity to capture early majority market share. First, they are familiar units, and most buyers know some of the models through local dealers, marketing, or maybe even previous owners. This brand value resonates with the early majority, who want to deal with brands that have a proven track record of success. The importance of a strong merchant network cannot be underestimated. 

A trusted local auto expert in the community provides these less experienced EV buyers with a consultant to whom they can ask questions about charging, financing incentives, range, or other concerns. That’s a big strength for established brands to take advantage of the electric car startups that have emerged in recent years.

In conclusion, it is an incredibly exciting time to be involved in the electrification of America’s vehicle fleet. As the industry moves into the next phase of adoption, it will be very different from the first, and strong connections between national brands, local retailers, and marketing partners will ensure that the early majority are well served.



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