More consumer insights;
Searches for electric vehicles (EVs) are up to 30 times more likely to result in a purchase than searches for conventional petrol and diesel-engined cars, according to a new study. BuyaCar.co.uk, a leading online used car supermarket, analysed tens of thousands of searches for EVs to identify the likelihood of a search converting into a sale.
They found that customers who search for an EV are significantly more likely to buy a car than those who search for an internal combustion engine (ICE) car. In the case of BuyaCar’s best-selling used EVs – the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe – the conversion of a search to a sale ranges from 17 times to more than 30 times higher than BuyaCar’s most popular conventional car, the Mercedes A-Class.
IF YOU WANT A HONDA E, YOU’LL PROBABLY BUY ONE PRETTY SHARPISH
The EV most likely to convert from a search to a sale on BuyaCar.co.uk is the Honda E, with 2.4 purchases for every 100 searches for that model. In contrast, it takes more than 1,000 searches for BuyaCar’s runaway most popular conventional car, the Mercedes A-Class, to result in a sale.
Another stark illustration of the difference in commitment between conventional car shoppers and EV aficionados comes with search and sale data for the conventional Audi A3. Despite hundreds of thousands of searches over 12 months and a place in BuyaCar’s top 10 selling vehicles, the Audi’s conversion rate to sale is dwarfed by that for the BMW i3. It takes an average of just 200 searches for the BMW i3 to result in a sale, compared with 2,500 for the Audi. (Maybe everyone is looking for that mythical top spec A3 S Line, with under 30K miles and FSH, never raced at a car meet on Friday night? – Ed)
The data was compiled during the first six months of 2021, during which time overall interest in EVs has remained stable at 7-8% of all searches where a fuel type was specified.
Christofer Lloyd, Editor of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: “It is interesting to measure the difference in intent between car buyers who search for electric vehicles and those who look at petrol and diesel models. This analysis seems to paint a picture of a highly committed EV customer base which is confident about what it wants, in contrast with other car buyers who tend to browse more generally.
“This analysis is also valuable to car manufacturers and dealers who are always interested in understanding the difference between a casual enquiry and one with a stronger underlying commitment to purchase, because it suggests that the hottest leads of all come from those shopping for an EV.
“It is also notable that some car brands clearly enjoy an advantage when it comes to their reputation as EV producers. For example, the Volkswagen Golf tops the chart for most-searched-for electric car and the Nissan Leaf comes in third. But when it comes to a purchase, the Leaf maintains third place in terms of conversion, while the Golf drops out of the top 10.”
Electric cars don’t need so much thinking time. They do a job and most – despite the potent initial acceleration – are incredibly dull to drive. By contrast, many petrol and diesel cars are about prestige, options in spec, power, colours, wheels, driving experience, noise – all the stuff that car enthusiasts know and love.
Who really cares if their Nissan Leaf is Hotpoint White or Rainforest Green? It’s a shopping trolley with an engine, which ticks a box and allows you access to city centres for free, plus free parking spaces and a general smug glow of satisfaction.
For insurers and brokers, it is great to have data like this, because there is the chance to wrap up cover with monthly lease payments at the pouint of online sale. EV buyers tend to be wealthier too, so you have a better chance of charging a higher premioum and avoiding a claim, since they live in an area of leafy suburbs and expansive driveways – hence the charging socket on the wall.
It’s all about lifestyle and driver data. Knowing the profile of the typical EV buyer/renter; low miles per week, high income, house alarm, Ring doorbell, no convictions etc. is the key to winning in this market. These are safe, predictable people, the best bet any insurer can get.