As UK car sales figures for the vital first quarter of 2018 are released today, highlighting a continued and dramatic decline in diesel purchases, global automotive analysts Sophus3 reveal that potential electric car buyers seeking alternatives are increasingly confused and frustrated over their online experience.
Sophus3’s analysis shows that interest in electric vehicles is increasing significantly on car brand websites - up 60% year-on-year in 2017 - but that most consumers are not ultimately choosing to buy electric - below 2% of the UK new car market - for a number of possible reasons:
Electric vehicle considerers are frustrated with their online experience - yet show a greater hunger for information and are more disposed to request a test-drive than petrol or diesel considerers.
Some car brands are still (incorrectly in Sophus3’s view) marketing electric as an ‘alternative’ or ‘lifestyle’ choice, when Sophus3’s analysis shows that electric vehicle considerers are now at a point of comparing petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric on a level playing field, focusing on running costs, monthly payments and ownership practicalities
Yet some manufacturers are also presenting electric vehicles in typical, and virtually irrelevant, “petrolhead” terminology such as horsepower, top speed and 0 – 60 mph time
Most cars are now ‘purchased’ through monthly finance payments and the base level of payments favours petrol and diesel over electric
Scott Gairns, Sophus3 Managing Director, said: “As Governments and local authorities continue the process of forcing diesel cars off the roads and high-profile pure electric brands such as Tesla make headlines, our analysis shows that the consumer is taking note, is interested in electric, but is still massively confused.”