Mass EV appeal drops, but lux buyers still interested

A supercharged industry is losing spark – mass EV appeal drops, but lux buyers still interested – GfK AutoMobility™

Environmental appeal ‘not enough’ to convert non-luxury buyers to EVs

New York NY, November 15, 2023 – While interest in electric vehicles (EVs) may have dipped for some consumers, luxury buyers are still a bright spot in the market. 42% of luxury auto intenders – those in the market to buy a vehicle – are still very interested in buying or leasing an EV, holding relatively steady YoY according to GfK’s Future of Mobility report.

Source: GfK 2024 Future of Mobility Report

According to new research from GfK AutoMobility™, the 2023 drop in EV demand is driven by the non-luxury brand intenders, falling 5 pts. from 2022. Price is now the #1 obstacle to EV adoption, beating out driving range and charging time for the first time in 5 years.

“Luxury brand shoppers have flexibility in their purchase decisions because they have more resources when it comes to charging infrastructure, disposable income, and the options of a complementary vs. primary use electric vehicle. So, while total EV demand is falling, its core target consumer - luxury brand shoppers – remain interested.” – Mike Chung, VP, GfK AutoMobility™ (Los Angeles).

Barriers to EV ownership are growing
Added inflationary pressure is also straining consumers, who find it harder to justify an EV purchase during times of economic uncertainty. Saving on fuel as a justification dropped 7 pts. from 2022, reduce reliance on oil dropped 5 pts., and fighting climate change through emission reduction dropped 3 pts.

Many Americans, 55%, now say that environmentally friendly products are too costly (GfK Consumer Life). Even with government subsidization, the additional cost of an EV isn’t obtainable for the non-luxury consumer, with the average price of an EV exceeding a non-EV by $10,000 (according to Kelly Blue Book).

So how do we pave the road for Electric Vehicles?
Quick charging, easy maintenance, and a guaranteed battery warranty are the top ways to increase consideration among non-luxury auto intenders who are interested in electric vehicles. It's important to note that environmental benefits and claims are not the leading factors to EV adoption.

Source: GfK 2024 Future of Mobility Report (Non-luxury intenders interested in EVs)

Safety and charging concerns subside when a buyer gains more experience with an EV. However, driving range and battery management issues persist.

“Consumers are more pragmatic today, and not necessarily swayed by the environmental aspects of electric vehicles”, says Julie Kenar, SVP, GfK AutoMobility™ (Detroit). “Educating consumers will only get us so far, but as infrastructure, technology, and other consumer concerns are met, the doors will open for a mainstream EV market.”  

About The Future of Mobility
The Future of Mobility report from GfK AutoMobility™ takes a deep dive into the connections between auto intenders and the evolving automobility space - from EVs to brand innovation and in-vehicle technology.

About GfK AutoMobility™
GfK AutoMobility™ is the leading Auto Intenders Brand and Attitude Insights research in the US. Since 1982, GfK’s Automotive Purchase Funnel has been the bedrock for analysis and insights

throughout the automotive industry. The funnel consistently tracks performance throughout each stage of the purchase process, determines competitive strengths and weaknesses, assesses consumer responses to marketing actions, and provides you with overall guidance and diagnostics for managing marketing actions.

About GfK – an NIQ company
For over 89 years, we have earned the trust of our clients around the world by solving critical questions in their decision-making process. We fuel their growth by providing a complete understanding of their consumers’ buying behavior, and the dynamics impacting their markets, brands and media trends. In 2023, GfK combined with NIQ, bringing together two industry leaders with unparalleled global reach. With a holistic retail read and the most comprehensive consumer insights - delivered with advanced analytics through state-of-the-art platforms - GfK drives “Growth from Knowledge”. 

For more information, visit GfK.com.

Press contact: Lori Halivopoulos, T +1 (917) 291-3437, lori.halivopoulos@gfk.com


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