About one-third of early buyers in Japan say their next car may not be an electric car, according to a study from business management consultancy McKinsey and Company.
However, the study shows that some owners were not properly informed about electric cars when they made the decision to buy into the experience.
The low cost of power, the government subsidies, as well as a smooth test drive of the vehicle is what ‘seduced’ many electric car owners in the country to purchase an electric car.
The study identifies higher than expected electricity bills and the difficulty in finding public recharging points as key reasons why the experience for some soon sours.
Instead, the people who were enjoying the electric car experience were “green enthusiasts” who “love EV technology for its low energy costs and comfortable driving experience”.
According to McKinsey, to lock in the reluctant buyers, EV makers should adopt retention and education programs to avoid negative market feedback that could “poison the well” for new buyers.
The study also found that although early adopters weren’t concerned about price, non buyers were.
Until prices drop to the point where the level of mass-market uptake stimulates infrastructure development, manufacturers must learn how to build customer loyalty to broaden the market for EVs.
McKinsey failed to mention whether the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster had anything to do with the EV ownership experience in Japan. The low cost and clean energy benefits of EV ownership were thrown for a loop in the post-earthquake and tsunami environment.[source: McKinsey Quarterly – sub. req]