GfK Group Says Japan and Russia Are Where the Strongest Market Opportunities Lie for Electric Vehicles; USA Places 5th

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 6

The Chart Ain't Pretty, But the Point Still Comes Across

The Chart Ain’t Pretty, But the Point Still Comes Across

GfK Group, one of the world’s largest (4th overall) research organizations, recently completed its Electric Vehicle Study 2013.

This study surveyed:

Japan

Japan

“Nationally representative samples of customers across 6 different markets to study global opinion and attitudes towards Electric Vehicles. Countries, numbers and methodology were as follows: China – 3,105 general population online, Japan – 1,194 ‘Intenders’ online, France – 1,000 ‘Intenders’ online, Spain – 235 ‘Intenders’ face to face, Russia – 904 ‘Intenders’ online and the USA – 500 ‘Intenders’ online. Questions were incorporated into existing studies across the 6 markets. Respondents were asked Awareness , Consideration, Opinion and Perceptions/Attitudes toward electric vehicles. The fieldwork across all markets was completed between January and April 2013.”

According to GfK, the strongest market opportunities for electric vehicles lie in Japan and Russia. The US places fifth on the list.

As GfK states:

“The main barrier is that (EVs) are seen as having a high purchase price and high maintenance costs. Customers in the U.S. are not willing to pay more for electric cars compared to conventional engine cars, and they would like to see a wider range of choices.”

GFK’s Don DeVeaux adds:

Russai

Russia

“In Japan, which has by far the highest familiarity with EVs, it is the direct personal benefits that are most associated with them, such as ‘easy to operate,’ ‘safe’ and ‘reliable.’ But in the USA, China, Russia, France and, to a lesser extent, Spain, it’s the other way around. In these markets, most respondents associate EVs primarily with the indirect benefit of ‘low emissions’ and have little perception of them as delivering direct personal benefits. If manufacturers focus on promoting the direct personal benefits of their electric vehicles in these countries, they will open up significant opportunities.”

We’ll now direct you below for a look at the actual GfK findings for Japan, Russia and the USA”

JAPAN – is the leading market for electric vehicles, with the majority of customers having a favorable overall opinion of them (82%) and considering them (63%). In this market, the triggers that drive the industry in Japan are different from all other markets. Electric vehicles meet the direct personal needs of these customers who primarily perceive them as easy to operate, safe and reliable. They also see them as good value for money and are willing to pay a premium price. Surprisingly, less than half of Japan’s intenders see ‘low emission / environment friendly’ as something that springs to mind when thinking about electric vehicles. There are no prevalent barriers to purchase.

RUSSIA – 72% of respondents have a favorable opinion about them, but the main barrier is again a perception of high purchase price, meaning that only 10% are open to considering them. They are willing to pay 5% more than for a conventional car, but do not associate them with great value for money and want more choice of electric vehicles. They also see there as being limited service options. Russia is joint equal with France as having the second widest perception that ‘low emission’ is the primary benefit offered by electric vehicles (85%). Just over half also see them as ‘easy to operate’ and ‘safe’, followed by ‘reliable’ with 44%, and only around a third seeing them as ‘low maintenance cost’ and ‘great value for money’ (31% and 29% respectively).

USA – only 36% of intenders have a favorable overall opinion of electric vehicles but still 45% are open to considering one, if it were offered in the type of vehicle they are planning to purchase. The main barrier is that they are seen as high purchase price and high maintenance costs. Customers in the US are not willing to pay more for electric cars compared to conventional engine cars, and they would also like to see a wider range of choices. We again see three quarters of this market seeing ‘low emission’ as the main benefit associated with electric vehicles, with a half or more also saying ‘easy to operate’ and ‘safe’. Four out of ten see them as ‘reliable’, and under a third as ‘great value for money’ and ‘low maintenance cost’.

GfK’s Electric Vehicle Study 2013 surveyed nationally representative samples of customers across 6 different markets to study global opinion and attitudes towards Electric Vehicles. Countries, numbers and methodology were as follows: China – 3,105 general population online, Japan – 1,194 ‘Intenders’ online, France – 1,000 ‘Intenders’ online, Spain – 235 ‘Intenders’ face to face, Russia – 904 ‘Intenders’ online and the USA – 500 ‘Intenders’ online. Questions were incorporated into existing studies across the 6 markets. Respondents were asked Awareness , Consideration, Opinion and Perceptions/Attitudes toward electric vehicles. The fieldwork across all markets was completed between January and April 2013.

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6 responses to "GfK Group Says Japan and Russia Are Where the Strongest Market Opportunities Lie for Electric Vehicles; USA Places 5th"

  1. Kimmi says:

    Gfk’s data is incomplete, Japan’s EV success is a given, there are effectively many Russians interested in EV’s, but the local market consisted of just 100 units in 2012, USA and France have great sales potential, China is one big question mark, but…Spain!?!?! Their ’13 EV share dropped to 0,12%, half of what it was last year (0,24%)!

    Right now the EV markets with highest growth rate are Iceland (330%), Hong Kong (140%), UK (97%), Sweden (68%) and Canada (52%), but if we think in the longer term, there are large markets that could be big surprises on the plug-in front and that weren’t mentioned by Gfk, like Brazil, India, South Korea or Mexico.

    1. Max says:

      It’s because there is nothing on sale except iMIEV. i3 will do very well in Russia – because it’s right brand. But a plug-in versions of 3er, 5er, 7er and x3-5 would do even better.
      Tesla is already in the shopping list of many current top3 german branded car owners, hope they are faster to the market. Early adopter import grey cars, but you have to be brave to pay 170k$ for Tesla with no warranty or service whatsoever.
      Market is totally neglected by Renault-Nissan and GM. Mainly because of their oversized and over bureaucratised staff in Europe and in Russia. Right approach would have given them a very decent sales in corp sector.

      1. Suprise Cat says:

        I’m very sure you mixed up Russia with Moscow.

  2. Spec says:

    What the heck is China’s problem? Do they think they need to burn everything that can burn?

    1. David Stone says:

      Yeah, they are so weird.
      Because no other country has ever done that…

  3. pjwood says:

    Economics don’t matter? I thought, by title, this article would be about fuel price spreads, electric and gas, maybe against incomes. Instead, its a litmus test of who’s zooming who. I love investing, long term, against this kind of thinking. People in more than half these places do not have the luxury of acting on perception, or favorability.