Are you missing out on half your market?
We were asked to find the barriers to buying EV’s and how to overcome them. You can read a summary of the outcomes below and see Auto Trader’s full report and a fantastic conversation on Woman’s Hour by following the links.
Our principles for bringing missing audiences to market:
- Don’t assume: start with an open mind about what the barriers could be
- Listen: to people in their own environment, context and life
- Speak to the whole market, not just your missing audiences: find all the barriers, then understand how your missing audience experience them
- Learn from the successful: speak to customers who overcame the barriers, not just rejectors
- Show solutions: don't just talk about what went wrong, come up with ideas that could fix it
Stage 1, Foundation: in home research with both men and women who either bought or rejected buying an EV, to understand the purchase journey and identify barriers to buying
Stage 2, Solution: develop solutions to overcome these barriers
Stage 3, Strategy: understand exactly how barriers are experienced by women, refine and test the solutions in focus groups
Barriers that exist for everyone purchasing an EV are even more pronounced for the women we spoke to. They’re more drawn to familiar makes / models, more focused on ‘comfort’ and mod cons, more risk averse and quicker to imagine what could go wrong when purchasing electric vehicles (does charging make it less practical for emergencies, can I still be spontaneous? Does the price mean I need to compromise on brand, size, performance?).
They also feel at a disadvantage during the purchase and research process, having to navigate a world built by-and-for male car enthusiasts, and often less able to rely on their base knowledge or advice from friends and family. It also became clear that EV options need to be ‘baked in’ right from the start of the consideration journey. If they look at EV’s after they decide on brand and type, they’ll find out too late that the electric version is more expensive – meaning either changing their budget or taking a big risk on a model that feels smaller or less kitted out than the one they’d decided on. For the risk-averse women in our sample this means that if EV’s aren't considered from the outset, they're likely to be dismissed.
Strikingly, women's worries often aren’t born out if they actually buy an EV. Most purchasers don’t experience any of the issues they’re worried about when they’re looking to buy. There's a big opportunity for suppliers: neutralise these specific worries and emphasise the (real, proven) benefits to electric vehicle ownership for women. The report highlighted four key ways to do this, with detailed guidance and action points for making electric vehicles more attractive, especially for women:
- Make them feel ‘must-have’ (building presence in relatable spaces, make test-driving more female friendly)
- Make them feel affordable (reframe leasing and ‘affordability criteria’)
- Make them feel less risky (reassure on charging infrastructure, provide missing information like minimum driving range)
- Make purchase hassle-free (home charging packages, bring to life the long-term money and carbon savings at point of purchase)