Finding the Future of Mobility with EVForward

March 26, 2020

Our Electrified Future

We’ve known for some years that the future of mobility is anything but a series of far-off possibilities—it’s very much here. Concepts once considered futuristic, including ridesharing, autonomous driving and—perhaps the biggest shift of all, truly functional and compelling electric vehicles (EVs)—have made their way to streets around the world.

However, despite their development, EVs make up 1.4% of the US market today. So, while global investment in EV technology is hitting new heights, it’s clear that consumer awareness and adoption have not kept pace. As passionate problem solvers and researchers, the Escalent Automotive & Mobility team set out to find the causes. What is behind the tremendous disparity between major investment and consumer adoption of EVs in the US?

We gathered the team and asked a number of pressing questions we knew leading firms would want answered:

  • What is needed to make the everyday consumer switch from an internal combustion engine vehicle to EVs?
  • What reservations does a typical consumer have when it comes to making the switch?
  • Are there specific features EVs are missing—outside of a gas tank—that keep the average consumer from purchasing an EV?
  • Why do 70% of Americans plan to buy a gas-powered car within the next year, but only 37% expect to make that same purchase in 5–10 years?
  • What does the next generation of EV buyers look like?
  • Are there specific consumer personas that EV companies can focus on reaching to boost broader adoption?

Determined to find answers, we set forth to hear from consumers and better understand the EV marketplace.

Introducing EVForwardTM

That brings us to today. We are proud to launch EVForwardTM: a new insights platform that helps industry players plan for the continued growth of EV market share. In short, “predicting the next generation of EV buyers just got real.”

EVForward allows users to leverage insights from a 10,000-respondent study focused on broader adoption of EVs. The platform includes intuitive tools that give users many ways to customize their experience and tailor the insights to their needs. This way, users can make strategic, informed decisions using custom queries and data manipulation to illustrate the full picture of the customer persona.

EVForward is not your run-of-the-mill platform; it was designed with business owners and decision-makers in mind to provide comprehensible, actionable analysis and insights. Based on an unrivaled quantity and quality of inputs, users will have incredible data to inform the steps industry players need to take today to inspire broader adoption of EVs and ensure their success with the auto buyers of tomorrow.

Casting a Small, Focused Net Around Future EV Buyers

While building EVForward for the last year and a half, our Automotive & Mobility team tracked more than 200 global automotive brands as well as conducted over 100 tracking studies and 48 product clinics globally. Being a top human behavior and analytics firm specializing in industries facing disruption, our team was able to narrow consumer perceptions of EVs to the following six personas:

  1. Torchbearer: Younger, more male and with the highest education and income among the six personas, Torchbearers view EVs as the answer to the problem of climate change and will work their life around EV limitations. Torchbearers are waiting for the right EV to come on the market for them to buy.
  2. Young Enthusiast: This is the youngest, most ethnically diverse group and they are focused on a life of achievement and reward. Young Enthusiasts are drawn to EVs because of the performance, styling and tech.
  3. Steward: Well-educated and very liberal, Stewards are extremely concerned about the environment and see EVs as the future. Stewards want to help but find new vehicle technology intimidating.
  4. Survivor: The lowest income group, Survivors view EVs as “interesting” but expensive and uncertain. Survivors care about the environment but are focused on getting through life’s struggles—not on change.
  5. Skeptic: More conservative with the lowest level of education, Skeptics don’t value altruism or the environment and are tech laggards.
  6. Old Guard: Believing that climate change isn’t real and EVs are a “stupid idea,”

Old Guards are the oldest, least ethnically diverse, and most conservative of the six personas. Pragmatic at heart, Old Guards will adopt new technology if it is the superior solution.

Obviously, industry players targeting the general population will likely not see a high return on investment. The data show time and time again that, currently, focusing on select user personas—such as Young Enthusiasts—can lead to much more effective results.

EVForward is designed to help segment audiences into comprehensive, well-rounded consumer personas. From there, EVForward provides DeepDives on topics impacting the EV ecosystem—such as charging infrastructure and time—as well as best practices in the form of sales, marketing, message appeal and more to inform actionable insights for businesses.

Meet the Next Generation of EV Buyers for Yourself

There is an enormous amount of nuance and outside variables to consider when attempting to answer why consumers make the choices they do. Answering the many questions regarding consumer purchases in the EV space can be a daunting task.

EVForward is here and already providing valuable insight and real-life data into the EV marketplace.

Want to learn more? Send us a note to schedule a demo of the remarkable research platform that is EVForward.

Mike Dovorany
Vice President, Automotive & Mobility

Mike Dovorany is vice president with our Automotive & Mobility team and based in Escalent’s Irvine, CA office. Leveraging his experience and strong background in prevalent automotive topics – including mobility and the future of the auto industry – Dovorany has led the development of EVForwardTM, a robust platform that helps companies plan for the continued growth of EV market share with insights from over 10,000 future EV buyers. Prior to joining Escalent, Mike worked at The CarLab for nine years, during which he led the firm's automotive consulting practice. He advised on topics such as autonomy, electrification, mobility, human machine interface and user experience. Before that, he worked for GM in Detroit and Toyota in Southern California. Mike first cut his teeth as a Wall Street analyst.