What will global supply be for EVs by 2020?
Estimates range anywhere from 1 million to 2.2 million units depending on which study you look at. There is a significant discrepancy between forecasts and what various municipalities are considering their targets are for penetration. It’s anybody’s guess at this point.
“I believe the availability of incentives highly drives demand,” said David Adams, President of Global Automakers of Canada. Adams spoke at EV 2017 Conference and Trade Show held at the Markham Hilton May 29, to June 1. “Over 95 per cent of zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales are in jurisdictions with the incentives.”
Consumers interested in ZEVs need to look at their demands for the vehicle and evaluate whether it will fit with their needs and their lifestyle. They also need to take the time to understand the technology and how it works.
“Once we get past the innovators and the early adopters then there is this big chasm that has to be crossed to reach mainstream buyers. There is a challenge there, and there is a tipping point, and I think that tipping point is further out than many think it is,” added Adams.
Compatibility with existing practices is another key market challenge. Consumers are used to going to a gas station and filling up their car in five minutes, and when they apply that principle to an EV, there is a lot less uptake because it’s a very different experience as the charging takes a longer period. This new experience may be viewed as a major incompatibility with typical consumer fueling patterns.
“Usability is another issue. Knowing where to plug it in, how to plug it in, etc. The more simple this can be made, the more attractive it will be to the marketplace,” explained Adams.
EV owners are the best ambassadors for sales. They can share their experience with friends and neighbours and convert them to buyers,” added Simon Ouellette, of Charge Hub. ” Auto dealers need to build an ambassador group of EV owners who can share their experience with other vehicle owners.”
An EV purchase is very different from an internal combustion engine purchase “A buyer needs to feel confident about the EV benefits, economics, and reliability before they even begin looking into a specific brand or model,” advised Ouellette.
To get them to adopt the EV concept, Ouellette says you need to give them the keys to the vehicle for 24 hours or 48 hours so they can get to know the vehicle. This way they can live with the vehicle and see what it is really like. “It makes a world of difference to them and makes it easier for them to pull the trigger and decide to make a purchase.”
“Another important selling factor is transparent pricing. “With all the rebates the pricing can become confusing for the buyer, so it is important to keep this as clear and simple as possible,” advised Oullette.