Frost & Sullivan offers new research into the mind of an early adopter of Electric Vehicles

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
In Q4 last year, Frost & Sullivan interviewed 1770 people across the United States about their interest in Electric Vehicles.  Today, the analyst company released the findings of the survey in a presentation called...

Automakers Braving to Launch Electric Vehicles to Skeptic U.S. Consumers -Who will be the Early Adopters, and will their Needs and Expectations be Met? 

It was presented by...
  • Veerender Kaul, Research Director, Automotive & Transportation, North America
  • Michael Coury, Vice President, Customer Research, North America
The 45 minute briefing covered some highlights from the insights they gained from the survey.  If you haven't attended a Frost & Sullivan briefing, you should...they're always insightful.  Here's a link to the briefing:

Here's some highlights from their highlights of the report...

Demographics, needs, and wants
  • The Target "Very Interested" Early Adopter (12% of respondents): 18-45 male with a college degree in the suburbs that owns a single family home, makes $80K+ and has kids.  However, most broad categories of potential buyers are likely to be 36-45 year old females living in the suburbs and are environmentally conscious.
  • 97% of owners park their car in same location everyday, of which 74% live in homes, 10% in apartments, and 16% in condominium or town homes.  Average parking time during weekday is: 12.8 hrs. at home, 4.9 hrs. at work and 2.7 hrs. at other places.
  • Average weekday driving distance is 43.5 mi and weekend distance 57.5 mi.
  • The more people learned about EVs during the taking of the Frost & Sullivan survey, the more they liked them...from 25% to 50%.  This might show that don't understand the benefits of EVs today.  However, this number reversed when they were presented with the costs.
  • Range anxiety is a serious impediment to the adoption of EVs. E-REVS and PHEVs will be overwhelmingly favored.
  • Customers are more likely to purchase Hybrid, then Range Extended (Volt), then PHEV, then EV (smallest niche)
  • Development of a public charging infrastructure is critical -mitigates range anxiety, enable optimization of driving range, and reduce vehicle cost.
Vehicle characteristics
  • Acceptable price for an EV: $33K
  • 2015 demand for EVs based on performance criteria ~2.3M...but analyst said that he thinks that it's more likely that 750K-1M will be actually purchased.
  • Charging time didn't seem to make a big difference to the respondent (30m to 8h)...but 4 hours was preferred.  I'm thinking that customers didn't understand the impact of the question.
  • Roadside Assistance and Telematics and LBS services are “a must have” feature for EVs. Must be provided standard.
  • A vehicle with a driving range of 100mi is unlikely to be seen by most Americans as their primary vehicle. A range of 150mi is more likely to merit that consideration.
  • Vehicle manufacturers could consider offering BEV with a package of some free rental car days to position a BEV as a primary vehicle.  Interesting idea given that most automakers have existing relationships with rental car companies.
Information like this helps us target our efforts this year as we Get Ready  for EVs in Central Florida.