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Gaining Traction: A Customer View of Electric Vehicle Mass Adoption in the U.S. Automotive Market

Gaining Traction: A Customer View of Electric Vehicle Mass Adoption in the U.S. Automotive Market

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Published by: Jarvis on Aug 02, 2010
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Gaining tractionA customer view of electricvehicle mass adoption inthe U.S. automotive market
Is this the time or the electric car? Who is likely to buythese vehicles? (“I we build them, will buyers come?”)What will Original Equipment Manuacturers (OEMs)need to do to make these vehicles acceptable or themass market? These are challenging questions given thesubstantial investments automakers and suppliers will haveto make in order to bring electric vehicles to the massmarket. To answer these questions and others, Deloitterecently completed a proprietary market study that includesprimary and secondary customer research and interviewswith executives rom major automotive OEMs, clean-techstart-ups, dealers, and energy companies. Our fndings arepresented in this report.
As the industry begins to recover rom the eects o the2008/2009 recession, quite a ew actors are convergingto make the idea o an electric vehicle (EV) more attractivethan ever. Government tax credits, emission regulationand uel economy standards, and unstable oil prices arecontributing to a shit in both ocus and attitude amongindustry leaders. Most o the major global OEMs haveannounced plans or vehicles powered by an electric motorwith an on-board battery pack. Also, several start-upcompanies have announced their intentions to bring“pure” electric vehicles to market in the next12 to 18 months. These announcements have generatedgreat enthusiasm in the media and at recent auto shows.Indeed, the uture o the electric car looks good.But there are challenges. So ar, most EVs have beenpowered by internal combustion engines (ICE) withsupplemental electric motors and battery storage — inother words, they are not the true electric cars o thepopular imagination. As a result, the size o the marketopportunity has been dicult to gauge. How big is thepotential demand? Who are the likely buyers o theelectric car? At the same time, certain barriers need to beovercome beore market adoption could achieve criticalmass. These topics were the ocus o our research:Market opportunity
Target customers
Barriers to adoption
Market orecast
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary o Deloitte LLP. Please seewww.deloitte.com/us/about or a detailed description o the legal structure o Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.
Gaining traction
About our study
The analysis presented in this report comes rom originalprimary and secondary research, including interviews withexecutives rom major automotive OEMs, clean-tech start-ups, dealers, and energy companies, as well as a survey onearly 2,000 current vehicle owners.To this qualitative and quantitative data we appliedDeloitte’s Demand Driven Analytics Methodology (Figure1) to assess the consumer’s perspective about the uture oelectric vehicles in the U.S. market.
Figure 1. Deloitte’s demand driven analytics methodology
Assessing uture demand or electric vehicles wassomewhat challenging since it meant testing consumerpreerences or a product with which they are largelyunamiliar. For this reason, we ocused on uncoveringconsumers’ amiliarity with EV technologies and products;with their opinions around price, brand, range, charging,the inrastructure, and the cost o ownership; and with theconsumer’s imagined “t” o an EV in his or her liestylegiven a range o demographic parameters.
 Awareness?Desirable?Interested toLearn?Non-Adopter Adopter
High/YesLow/No Yes YesNoNo
Different Technologies
Charging/Infrastructure Needs
Implications to my Lifestyle
Volume Est.
Consumer AwarenessDesirabilityAdoption
How familiar are youabout various EVtechnologies?
How accurate is yourunderstanding?
Our consumer survey indicate currentconsumer awareness and purchasebarriersOur cost and volume analysisestimates the rate of adoptionover time
Our consumer survey indicates currentconsumer awarensss and purchasebarriers

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