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Hot Tip: J.D. Power urges automakers to push EV sales during low-traffic period

Costa Mesa, California – Drivers across North America have been spending far less time on the road since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, putting more thought than ever into how they travel; according to a recent survey from J.D. Power, now is the time for automakers to be making their pitch to customers to switch to an electric vehicle (EV).

The J.D. Power 2020 Q3 Mobility Confidence Index Study, released to the company website on Tuesday, sought to measure the confidence levels of consumers in relation to a range of automotive products from July 1 to Sept. 30.

Confidence in EVs remained almost completely unaffected in Canada and the U.S. over the three month period.

For J.D. Power, they see this as the perfect time for automakers to show off the benefits of EVs for customers who are doing most of their driving locally for the time being.

“With so many more people working from home or making shorter commutes, this is an opportunity to further tout the benefits of battery-electric vehicles and self-driving technologies. However, consumers remain sceptical because of their lack of first-hand experience with these technologies and lack of education about how and why these technologies work. Until auto manufacturers can rectify this, adoption will continue to be an uphill battle,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human-machine interface research at J.D. Power.

The study outlined a number of key findings of EVs based on the results.

The results found that, among both Canadians and Americans, customers want greater battery range and shorter charge times. Both demographics would like to see ranges on EVs reach at least 450 km on a full charge. As well, both groups expect to achieve about two-thirds of their maximum range on no more than a 15-minute charge.

Many North Americans still have very little first-hand experience with EVs, the study found. Nearly 70 percent of respondents, Canadian and American, had never personally been in an EV, and as a result of that inexperience, 62 percent of Americans said that there is a very low likelihood that they would lease or purchase an EV. Canadians demonstrated a little more optimism with 51 percent saying that there is a very low likelihood that they would lease or purchase an EV.

“Right now, there are about 50 battery-electric vehicle models scheduled for a U.S. debut by the end of 2022. In that same two-year period, only 13% of the consumers we polled expect to buy one while 30% stated they have no intention to ever consider buying one,” Kolodge said. “Automakers need to figure out a way to get people into these types of vehicles to increase consideration.”

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