Accenture Study Finds Consumers Will Require More Than Fuel Savings From Hybrid and Electric Vehicles; Cost, Vehicle Dynamics, In-Vehicle Services
According to a new Accenture study of 1,800 consumers in Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the US, while interest in hybrid and electric vehicles may be growing, consumers do not see fuel savings as the only purchasing factor and are demanding more from automakers. Just 36% of respondents cited higher fuel prices as a reason to buy.
Accenture’s survey showed that six out of 10 consumers are more likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle only when it is superior to gasoline-only models in every way. The global management consulting and technology services company suggests that while automakers are increasingly focused on addressing the demand for greater fuel efficiency and economy they should also address those areas that continue to influence the consumer.
Among the findings of the study:
Those that have driven a hybrid or electric vehicle rate fuel efficiency as being very good to excellent, but most rate the ride, performance, style and maintenance as good at best.
42% percent of the respondents said they are likely to buy a hybrid or electric auto in the next two years. (This rose to a high of 62% in Italy). Most of these (80%) are more likely to buy hybrids than all-electric vehicles.
About half would pay nothing more for a hybrid or electric car compared to a fuel-only vehicle, and around 75% desire a payback time for a hybrid or electric car purchase to be five years or less.
In-vehicle services which satisfy different customer needs including commerce, entertainment, safety, maintenance, communication and infomobility (i.e., navigation) will not only be key influences on consumer choice but will also play a key factor in the development of more fuel efficient vehicles, Accenture said.
Our study suggests that while consumers are increasingly embracing and understanding the value of alternative vehicles they still want models that represent a new phase in the evolution of the automobile. In-vehicle services will play a key part in this and car manufacturers have an opportunity now to ramp up their capabilities in this area to achieve competitive differentiation. Both OEMs and suppliers need to start building strategic partnerships that will lead to distinctive capabilities, particularly around safety, environmental protection and entertainment.—Luca Mentuccia, managing director of Accenture’s Automotive group
The respondents ranged in age from 18 to 61 years and over, and were a near even split between male (52%) and female (48%) consumers.
|Selected Results from Accenture Global Auto Consumer Survey, March 2010|
|Survey Question||Percentage of respondents|
|More likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle that is better than a fuel-only car in every way||74%||55%||46%||65%|
|Rate the fuel efficiency of a hybrid or electric car very good to excellent, but rate ride, performance, style and maintenance as good||59%||64%||45%||74%|
|More likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle in the next two years||29%||51%||62%||31%|
|More likely to purchase a hybrid in the next two years||67%||63%||71%||70%|
|More likely to buy an electric vehicle in the next two years||17%||22%||19%||5%|
|Everyone should own a hybrid or electric car||21%||39%||57%||26%|
|Would pay nothing more for a hybrid or electric car compared to a fuel-only vehicle||45%||52%||46%||56%|
|Desire a payback time for a hybrid or electric car purchase to be five years or less||64%||83%||73%||82%|
|Assuming a hybrid or electric vehicle could run on an electric charge for 200 miles, want the driving distance between re-charging points to be every 11 to 50 miles||55%||44%||52%||20%|
|Want re-charging to take less than 20 minutes||72%||73%||69%||50%|