With sustainability top of mind, consumer demand for electric vehicles continues to grow. Electric vehicle sales topped 2.1 million globally in 2019 and will continue to rise as battery prices drop and charging infrastructure advances. Electric vehicles are expected to represent 10% of passenger car sales by 2025 and nearly 60% by 2040.
Your energy utility plays an important role in encouraging customers to go electric. However, there are several roadblocks preventing consumers from making the switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs. Learn more about the top four customer roadblocks to EV adoption and the best ways to dispel these concerns in your program promotions.
High upfront cost
What energy utility customers think: Today’s consumers know that electric vehicles are a viable solution to reduce their carbon footprint and improve the environment. However, the one thing holding them back is often the high upfront cost. Your customers may not be aware of the various incentives available to help lower the purchase cost.
What your message should be: While electric vehicles have higher upfront costs, they are less expensive to own and operate. Therefore, customers are able to save money over the long run. Since there are fewer moving parts to break down, electric vehicles are also cheaper to maintain. Imagine never again having to worry about an oil change. On your website and in program promotions, be sure to provide your customers with helpful resources on federal and state incentives.
What energy utility customers think: One of the top worries for customers is range anxiety, or a fear that their electric vehicle will run out of charge before reaching its destination. In fact, range anxiety is often cited as the main reason why consumers are hesitant about purchasing an electric vehicle.
What your message should be: To reduce range anxiety, educate your customers about how electric vehicles can fit into their everyday lives. According to the Federal Highway Association, the average person in an urban area drives just 37 miles per day. Most EVs can travel more than 100 miles on a single charge, and some models have ranges between 200 and 300 miles. For the majority of drivers, an electric vehicle is a practical option.
Access to charging stations
What energy utility customers think: Your customers think there’s a limited number of EV charging stations compared to the number of gas stations. As a result, they have concerns about access to charging infrastructure. For example, when taking a road trip, customers want to be confident that plentiful charging stations are available along the route.
What your message should be: Inform your customers that charging stations are popping up everywhere as electric vehicles grow in popularity. EV charging stations can be found in various locations like shopping centers, local businesses, apartment complexes and more. Currently, there are over 25,000 charging stations with approximately 78,500 outlets in the United States. In fact, there are charging stations in every state, even Alaska. To help your customers find charging station locations, share this helpful resource from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Impact on electric bill
What energy utility customers think: Many consumers like the idea of owning an electric vehicle but have concerns about higher electric bills. In addition to the impact on their monthly bill, your customers also have questions about at-home charging options:
- What charging options are available?
- How much do they cost?
- How fast does it take to charge an EV?
- What type of equipment is required for installation?
What your message should be: Reach out to your EV customers to share time-of-use (TOU) rate options to help them reduce their monthly bill. By charging during off-peak hours, they can save energy costs and help lower demand on the grid. If your energy utility has a smart charger rebate program, be sure to educate customers about the pros and cons of each charger. For example, Level 2 smart chargers offer a faster charge, but do not plug into a standard 120-volt household outlet. Your customers need your energy utility’s help to decide what charger is the right fit for their lifestyle and budget.
By countering these common concerns, your energy utility can help drive electric vehicle adoption and increase customer engagement in your EV program promotions.