ALEXANDRIA, Va.—It’s early days in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), which means it’s still difficult to get a handle on consumer behaviors when it comes to EVs. “Good things are being done, and things are moving forward, but it’s still very early days,” said Dan Munford, executive director of Insight Research, on this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “It’s Electric!” “I think you have to look at individual markets and their uniqueness in order to see how this is going to develop in those markets.”
For example, the United Kingdom is on a very aggressive timeline on ending diesel- and gasoline-powered passenger vehicles. “Should [U.K. retailers] base our planning and business decisions on that timeline?” Munford asked. “It’s really difficult to answer them, … but these companies are already making big decisions in the U.K. on the basis of that decision.”
Where are consumers on this debate between battery versus combustion engine vehicles? “I think the customers want something that works for them,” Munford said. “They’re thinking about nice, shiny cars that work and get them from A to B in an efficient manner and as stylishly as possible. … What we’re seeing now is that electric vehicles are much better and in many cases, highly attractive vehicles.”
Munford pointed out that in the U.K., much like the U.S., there is frustration around charging anxiety. According to the EV Association, in Norway, 47% of drivers experience charging queues, and 39% experience chargers that don’t work. “For the U.K., [electric chargers are] not a very attractive proposition for roadside retailers,” he said. “In the U.K. market, on-site charging at home is a better option. You have to learn from the Norwegian example, and then you have to overlay your unique market characteristics to … help you create your strategy in whichever market you’re in.”
Listen to the podcast for more about EVs. Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 250 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 200,000 times by listeners around the world.