Perception of Battery Electric Vehicles Rose in 2020 Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

July 14, 2021

Latest Escalent EVForward segmentation study illustrates importance of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to OEM product lineups

Despite the significant economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer outlook regarding battery electric vehicles (BEVs) grew significantly in 2020, while negative perceptions remained flat or declined.

Those are the findings of the 2021 Segmentation and Market Profile report from EVForward, the largest, most comprehensive study of the next generation of electric vehicle buyers. The dedicated platform was developed in 2020 by Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics advisory firm with extensive experience counseling the world’s largest automotive companies.

“Consumers are increasingly optimistic about the efficacy of battery electric vehicles in particular,” said Mike Dovorany, Automotive & Mobility vice president at Escalent and head of EVForward. “Critically, that optimism grew during and despite the overwhelming effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a clear warning sign to automakers who have lagged behind their competitors in BEV development and have treated BEVs like a product of tomorrow rather than today.”

The latest snapshot, fielded December 2020 through February 2021, provides a year-over-year look at major shifts in BEV buyer attitudes:

  • Despite the effects of the pandemic, the outlook for BEVs became more positive over the past year, with 39% of respondents indicating BEVs are “The Future” compared to 33% in 2020.
  • Further, negative attitudes (considering the technology a “Passing Fad” or “Stupid Idea”) toward BEVs remained flat or declined.
  • This shift in attitudes was universal across all age, region, gender and vehicle ownership segments.

In addition to consumer optimism, several other key markers saw increases, including BEV familiarity (up 20%) and exposure to BEV owners (up 19%).

EVForward offers a unique look at the next generation of electric vehicle buyers with more than six million variables encompassing proprietary survey information and additional profiling data. The tool provides rich, actionable analysis based on an unrivaled quantity and quality of inputs to inform the steps industry players need to take today to inspire broader adoption of electric vehicles and ensure their success with future buyers.

To learn more about the next generation of electric vehicle buyers, contact the Escalent Automotive & Mobility team today.

About EVForward™

Escalent EVForward™ was conducted with a national sample of 10,218 new vehicle buyers aged 18-80. The data were weighted by age, gender and US state to match the demographics of the US new-vehicle purchaser population. It was also weighted by vehicle segment to match current vehicle sales. The sample for this research comes from an opt-in, online panel. As such, any reported margins of error or significance tests are estimated, and rely on the same statistical assumptions as data collected from a random probability sample. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

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