As electric vehicle (EV) adoption is expected to continue to increase, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are competing for future market share and in need of actionable information about consumer mindsets and preferences.

To fill that need, digital marketing and research company ProspX.ai used its proprietary Optimize web-based platform to explore perceived consumer benefits of buying or leasing an EV and how OEMs can message consumers to reduce apprehensions regarding buying or leasing an EV. The study examined consumer motivators in terms of specific statements regarding EV pricing, the sales process, EV operatingSource: ProspX.aiSource: ProspX.ai range and type of and costs of charging EVs.

The analysis revealed three distinct mindset segments, starting with those who prefer their current internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered vehicles and don’t want the hassles of switching to an EV. These ICE, ICE Babies would only consider owning an EV if their home or work location had an EV charger. Obviously, it may take a while for most people with this mindset to acquire an EV.

Consumers labeled as Prove Its (PIs) are knowledgeable EV shoppers, like the idea of fast charging and would consider owning an EV even if their home or work location did not have an EV charger. But this cohort does not believe that the cost of maintaining an EV is much lower than that of a hybrid, gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle. And PIs do not want to purchase or lease an EV strictly online. This mindset presents an opportunity as these shoppers are likely to test EVs at dealerships and ask questions about the costs and infrastructure associated with having and operating an EV before they acquire one.

Those included in the Traditionals group are apprehensive about transitioning to EVs and express concern about potential limitations that may come with acquiring an EV. Traditionals are open to acquiring EVs, but will proceed with extra caution and require more positive attributes of EVs to be evident before they feel comfortable acquiring one.

Overall, over 40% of survey respondents intend to buy/lease an EV in the next three years. The practicality of EV ownership appears to outweigh the potential impact on the environment in the decision-making process. OEMs are advised to offer a menu of options for charging.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com