Electric Car

Consumers and EVs: No lightbulb moment

For example, 84 per cent of respondents didn’t know that many EVs can drive more than 350 kilometres on a single charge.

“There’s a lot of good questions that we assume everybody knows, but frankly the general public doesn’t,” El-Achhab said.

‘MASSIVE’ KNOWLEDGE GAP

That survey factored into Kia Canada’s decision to open the EV experience centre, El-Achhab told Automotive News Canada.

“When we surveyed consumers, 50 per cent said they’re interested in an EV or would consider purchasing an EV,” he said, “but only 3.5 per cent did. That’s a massive gap … they’re apprehensive when it comes to pulling the trigger.”

Once consumers are armed with accurate information, they’re more inclined to switch to EVs, said Cara Clairman, CEO of Plug’n Drive, a Toronto-based non-profit that educates consumers about the economic and environmental benefits of EVs.

Between 30 per cent and 35 per cent of people who visit the centre buy an EV within six months, said Clairman, adding that most buyers who go electric never go back to a gasoline-powered vehicle.

Automakers need to keep EVs top of mind for consumers by investing in marketing and advertising, especially online and on television, said Kia’s El-Achhab.

“Right now, you see an electric- or green-car ad one out of every 25 ads,” he said. “But as more OEMs bring electric cars to the market, then it becomes more prominent. The consumer is going to look into it and start to think, ‘Maybe I need to consider a green vehicle.’ ”

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