Despite setbacks from inventory and part shortages, the automotive industry continues to embrace a future in electric vehicles (EVs), especially as consumer interest is on the rise with low-emission commuting demands and government support through subsidies & tax rebates.
“The global Electric Vehicle Market size is projected to grow from 8,151 thousand units in 2022 to 39,208 thousand units by 2030.”
As a dealer, you face two major challenges with this inevitability: lack of knowledge about EVs, both for your staff and your consumers, and standing out from the competition, who may already be ahead of you when it comes to EV marketing.
While you train your staff on the specifics of EVs, try using that same knowledge base for consumer marketing. Encourage shoppers to choose you over the competition by helping them stay informed.
Three major questions can be addressed as a starting point in EV marketing.
1. How far can my electric vehicle go on one charge?
Lithium technology has come a long way since EVs struggled to go even 100 miles on a single charge in years past. Today, most modern EVs can easily surpass almost twice that distance.
Ease potential customer concerns about daily commutes, weekend getaways, and long road trips by letting them know just how far one charge can take them.
2. Where can I charge my electric vehicle?
Charging stations have been spreading across the country, but it is important to note that not every EV is the same, nor is their connector type. Public charging stations also vary in efficiency, as most are at Level 2, whereas Level 3 charging, or DC Fast Charging, can bring an EV’s battery up to 80% in around 30-60 minutes.
Know your community and what is available to your consumers and inform them of where to find the nearest charging stations in your area that suit the vehicles you offer.
3. Will an electric vehicle cost me more?
Even if consumers are aware of the Federal Tax Credit of up to $7,500 for EVs and Hybrids purchased on or after 2010, that single incentive might not be enough to sway them toward making the change. Let them know about every available incentive, such as what your state offers, like California, which has a $2,000 cash rebate for EV buyers.
And do not forget to tout the long-term savings.
“AAA states that, the power required to travel 15,000 miles per year in an EV averages out to $546, while the price of gas required for the same distance averages out to $1,255. A savings of about 130%, sometimes even more.”
Given currently rising gas prices across the country, now is the perfect time to push those benefits.
These innovative vehicles also require an innovative and personalized approach to marketing, like being able to automatically focus on areas and customer segments actively considering EVs with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). An AI Customer Data and Engagement Platform, for example, can help you retain EV customers throughout their lifecycle, keeping in front of them with EV-specific service offerings and maintenance plans.
It is important to note that shoppers of these vehicles are upwards of 50 percent more interested in purchasing online than traditional buyers, meaning EV marketing requires an omnichannel approach more than any other segment.
Be everywhere, with all the information an interested shopper might want, such as including a frequently asked questions section about EVs on your website and using your marketing to drive customers to it.
If you do not currently utilize a tool powered by AI, implementing a new marketing strategy for EVs may seem daunting, but remember that this is also an opportunity that can filter into improvements for all your vehicle marketing. Like many dealers, you are probably overdue for a modernization of your go-to-market plan when it comes to new models.
Use this time to revamp your omnichannel approach, the offline experience, after-sales services, and the consumer lifecycle, and the next time a new EV or other vehicle model is launching, you could be the pioneer for reaching consumers faster and more efficiently with the information to drive them to your store.