Global Trends 2020

Starting the electric car journey

As electric car ownership grows, manufacturers must not fall into the trap of applying the old rules to this nascent category. Electric car ownership will have its own shape and identity. Now is the time to innovate, disrupt and optimise the experience for the electric car customers of the 2020s.

Electric car adoption at a global level has been hindered by a few key elements: the lack of affordable electric vehicle models, anxiety about how far it can drive without recharging (known as ‘range anxiety’), and the slow development of public charging infrastructure. Despite this, there is consumer appetite for making car purchase choices which are better for the environment.

Once purchased, any new car can collect lots of data about the functionality and use of the vehicle, regardless of fuel type. But due to the unease some people feel about sharing their personal data, they may miss out on ways to optimise their electric car ownership experience. Less than half (46%) would be unhappy to share their personal information with companies and brands that they like.

The implications of our data dilemmas trend are clear: car manufacturers need to think about normalising data sharing to make consumers more comfortable. Clearly illustrating the benefits might achieve this. To go down this path, manufactures need to think carefully about the level of impact these personal benefits need to carry in order to outweigh concerns about data sharing.

An example of how data sharing could be normalised for electric cars is through home car-charging points. Charging ports without internet connectivity which consumers simply plug the car in and charge are available, no data sharing required. Other charging points can be installed that have their own wifi connection and mobile apps to enable users to track the car-charging progress. Some energy suppliers charge a lower electricity rate between the hours of midnight and 3am, and the car can be scheduled to park at that time, reducing the cost to charge. Data sharing is crucial to enable this benefit to be available to consumers, what others could follow?

To find out more, please contact:
stephanie.mensah@ipsos.com