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American Interest in EVs Rising During COVID-19 Pandemic

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【Summary】According to a new study by Ipsos, American drivers have become more interested in electric vehicles as things have slowed down during the coronavirus pandemic.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 10, 2020 7:30 AM PT
American Interest in EVs Rising During COVID-19 Pandemic

Things slowed down considerably during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. People stopped going to work, the number of miles being driven went down, and car owners didn't have to go to gas stations to fill up as much as they normally would. While one would have assumed that the coronavirus would've been the perfect time for the majority of consumers to get rid of their big pickup trucks and large SUVs for smaller, more affordable vehicles, it was actually the perfect time for consumers to become interested in electric vehicles.

Knowledge Of EVs Increasing

According to Ipsos' 2020 Global Mobility Navigator Study, which focuses on electrification, consumer interest in electric vehicles in America increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study claims that the increased interest comes because of greater familiarity with electrified vehicles. As the study points out, higher levels of knowledge surrounding electric vehicles lead to more sales. Previously, China had the highest level of knowledge about battery-operated electric cars, which could explain why the country continually has the most sales.

While that's a good thing for EVs, automakers, and the environment, the study found that the reasoning behind purchases didn't align for all drivers. Globally, consumers considered purchasing an electric vehicle because of the environment, reduced ownership costs, and convenience. While those are factors, Ipsos' study found the most impactful benefits for considering an EV purchase included access to public transport, use of express lanes (HOV and carpool lanes), convenience, aesthetics, and advanced technology.

How To Keep EVs Popular

To help EVs to continue to grow, Ipsos claims that automakers should focus their marketing efforts on increasing consumer familiarity with fully electric cars. Mainly, automakers should focus on affordability, driving range, ownership cost, access to charging stations, and battery life. Those are the five main barriers the study found to EV ownership. In doing so, Ipsos believes that automakers can dispel the negative perceptions surrounding electric vehicles and pave the way forward for more consumers to make the switch.

As the study points out, adopting new technology is difficult for the majority of consumers. Since electric vehicles are more expensive than the average gasoline-powered car, it's an even bigger challenge for consumers to overcome. Education can help consumers with the process, as the more they know and understand, the more they'll be willing to make the switch.

For automakers, the coronavirus pandemic has been an interesting period. The majority of manufacturers have had to put vehicles with internal combustion engines on hold, while fast-tracking electric vehicles to ensure they don't fall behind. If anything, that should help EVs become more mainstream quicker.

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