Luxury electric vehicle households stay loyal to battery power, as 3 out of 4 homes have expressed interest in purchasing an EV as their next vehicle. However, things don’t look promising for the Electric vehicle market as a recent study by S&P Global Mobility shows that once Tesla’s industry-leading loyalty numbers are removed from the data, nearly half of those non-Tesla EV households that have purchased a new EV still end up purchasing an internal combustion vehicle the next time they need to buy a car.
If there’s anything to take from this, it’s that American buyers don’t necessarily want electric vehicles. They just want Teslas. Because this is the reality, it makes future product decisions with intentions to gain Tesla-like stock expectations a fool’s errand This data also points to another truth: EVs remain appealing to certain well-heeled demographics.
Excluding Tesla, brand EV households’ fuel type loyalty rate is 52.1% this year through July. That’s staying loyal to electric vehicles, regardless of which brand they purchase next. That means nearly 50% of households that have purchased an EV opt to buy an internal combustion engine vehicle next. However, this could be a replacement for a different household vehicle and not a replacement for an EV.
Pricing, infrastructure, and range were the top 3 reasons consumers listed for not buying an EV. For some, having a traditional ICE or hybrid vehicle is a way to combat some of these obstacles.
Among mainstream brands with return-to-market volumes of over 1,000 households YTD through July, Nissan had the strongest loyalty to EVs at 63.2%, followed by Chevrolet at 60.6%. That’s just loyalty to EVs in general, not Nissan-to-Nisaan EVs or Chevrolet-to-Chevrolet EVs. For individual models, results vary, with just 37.3% of Ford Mustang Mach-E households buying another EV versus 45.8% opting for a gasoline-powered vehicle. Many buyers switched to Ford truck and SUV models in ICE and hybrid powertrains, suggesting that vehicle type and capability were more important than fuel economy.
Consumers are trying out electric vehicles, but due to lifestyles and needs, they are finding that, unless they are sticking within their given circle, the cars just aren’t practical to use given the current infrastructure and capabilities. Those who do decide to keep with an EV often opt in for a Tesla vehicle, which means the company is picking off EV intenders. Between that and the draw of ICE strengths, such as towing and payload, legacy ICE automakers are battling to increase EV loyalty as they transition.