The rise of home working, virtual communication and online delivery services may have removed the need for many day-to-day journeys, but consumers still prefer mobility to stasis. They want to travel, but to do so more safely and sustainably, and the EV is set to be their mode of choice. The number of journeys taken is broadly expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, with the exception of work-related travel: 14% of work journeys are expected to be avoided in future. Concerns over the risk of infection remain a major influence on consumers’ choice of transport — private cars have become the preferred way of getting around safely and at low infection risk. More than half (56%) of current and future car owners agree that constant access to a personal car is very important to them. And 38% of those who don’t currently own a car say they are now looking to buy one, a rise of 7% from the previous survey conducted during phase one of the pandemic last year.
Making the leap
The newfound resolve to live a greener life and choose a sustainable EV is countered by ingrained practical concerns around cost, range and charging infrastructure. How much, in other words, will eco-principles cost consumers — financially and in terms of time, convenience and stress or anxiety — and how much are they willing to pay? The confusing and disjointed information provided around the EV experience does not help buyers seeking reassurance that the sustainable choice is the right one.
These issues are far from new, but despite years of effort from both industry and government, the MCI shows that they remain the key obstacles to wider EV ownership. New, more customer-centric solutions are required.