What Green Auto Market readers are most interested in – and what needs to happen for this industry to move forward

reader surveyMany thanks to readers who’ve taken the survey this month. Your responses were insightful and very similar to what I’ve learned from having conversations with stakeholders in the industry, reading media coverage, reviewing survey reports, and reading studies by market analysts. Overall, plug-in electric vehicles, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and natural gas vehicles (in that order) have the most interest; the charging and fueling infrastructure is right up there, too. It was also rewarding to get feedback on what’s needed in the marketplace for my business, LeSage Consulting,– and to see that it fits in with what stakeholders have been saying to me for a long time about the need out there for effective educational content to address concerns about ownership costs and range anxiety – and if this new industry is making a real difference with environmental issues, governmental policies, and economics.

Educating market segments on the financial side of the question is top priority – acquisition costs and incentives, lifecycle ownership costs, and how it all compares to traditional gasoline ICE vehicles. Availability and accessibility of charging and alternative fueling stations was also high on the list. As for the most important stakeholder groups, consumers finished first, followed by fleets, government agencies, and OEMs (car and truck makers).

There is a lot of interest out there in what’s going on in other industries and technologies and how it will affect automotive and transportation. As for the top five related topics that readers want to stay current on:  next generation batteries for electric vehicles and hybrids; global market conditions for alternative fuel vehicles and clean transportation; regulatory, political, and economic issues affecting alternative fuels and vehicles; futuristic advanced technologies used in fuels such as biofuels and biomass, hydrogen, methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), and renewable natural gas (also known as biogas); and how alternative fuels and energies are being used in other industries such as stationary units, air conditioning, power generation, and industrial applications.

So what’s the tipping point for getting green vehicle shoppers to make that purchase decision? What methods are most effective? Number one: vehicle specifications, pricing, and incentive data; Number two: ride and drives; Number three: answers to frequently asked questions; Number four: video interviews and presentations, and Number five: step by step guides making purchase decisions.

Special thanks to survey respondents who added open-end comments, which you can read below. There is fascination with advanced technologies and where vehicles are heading; creating the charging infrastructure that’s needed for electric vehicles to stride forward; and the source of energy – is that electricity really clean that’s fueling your zero emission vehicle? Here are the results from the reader survey……….

What topics are you most interested in reading about in Green Auto Market?

  1. Plug-in electric vehicles
  2. Hybrids
  3. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
  4. Charging and fueling infrastructures
  5. Natural gas vehicles
  6. Vehicle ownership and operating cost savings
  7. Research and development on advanced fuels and technologies
  8. Government regulations and incentives
  9. Vehicle emissions reductions
  10. Fuel-efficient driving and reducing idle time

What issues do you think need to be addressed to gain more interest and purchase activity from vehicle owners?

  • Total cost of ownership – green vehicle versus conventional vehicle  79%
  • Availability and accessibility of charging and alternative fueling stations  71%
  • Lifecycle ownership experience including charging and fueling, maintenance, repair, and remarketing  62.5%
  • Purchase price and incentives  54%
  • Safety of drivers and passengers in green vehicles  29%
  • Manufacturing and fueling the vehicle with energy efficient and environmentally responsible methods 25%
  • Gains alternative fuel vehicles are making in environmental, energy, and economic issues  21%
  • Payment methods for charging and fueling stations  21%
  • Ride and drive opportunities  21%
  • Connectivity with mobile devices  12.5%
  • Other:

  • Education related to how new technologies will be adopted over time. People in general need to put into context the magnitude of the change/transition that comes with moving away from gasoline ICE’s.
  • Long range between refueling events.
  • There are many smaller companies trying to start EV companies; they need access to funding. Only these companies want to bring the price of EV’s down; gas OEM’s don’t want EV’s and are not working on affordable EV’s. HELP!
  • New charging technologies, I read something a couple of months ago about a girl winning a science fair with almost instant charging. Real??
  • Since most electricity comes from coal powered plants how are they positively effecting the environment
  • Workplace charging infrastructure and programs
  • Technology transfer from auto racing use of hybrid and all-electric vehicles

How would you rank these stakeholder groups in importance for shaping the future of alternative fuel vehicles and clean transportation?

  1. Consumers
  2. Fleets
  3. Government agencies
  4. Original equipment manufacturers (car and truck makers)
  5. Transportation providers (such as delivery and trucking)
  6. Corporations
  7. Charging and fueling infrastructure providers
  8. Energy companies
  9. Auto dealers
  10. Environmental groups

What are some of the related topics that you’d be interested in reading about in Green Auto Market?

  • Next generation batteries for electric vehicles and hybrids  87%
  • Global market conditions for alternative fuel vehicles and clean transportation 65%
  • Regulatory, political, and economic issues affecting alternative fuels and vehicles 56.5%
  • Futuristic advanced technologies used in fuels such as biofuels and biomass, hydrogen, methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), and renewable natural gas (also known as biogas)  48%
  • How alternative fuels and energies are being used in other industries such as stationary units, air conditioning, power generation, and industrial applications 48%
  • Renewable energy including solar, wind, and hydro power  43.5%
  • Futuristic advanced technologies used in aerospace, auto racing, bikes, and military vehicles  35%
  • Sustainability campaigns in corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies  30.5%
  • Energy efficiency in manufacturing and production, residential and commercial buildings, and other areas 26%
  • Other:

  • Historical context of previous technology transitions (preference to transportation, but doesn’t need to be)
  • Driverless vehicles!!
  • Finding investors for new start-ups. Introducing new startups to your readers? The big auto guys don’t want EV’s and none of them are making money on EV’s. We need innovators like new start-ups that can bring affordable EV’s to the market

What methods do you think would be most effective in promoting support for purchasing decisions and public perception?

  • Vehicle specifications, pricing, and incentive data  65%
  • Ride and drives  52%
  • Answers to frequently asked questions  48%
  • Video interviews and presentations  43.5%
  • Step by step guides making purchase decisions  39%
  • Newsletters and blogs  22%
  • Whitepapers and reports  22%
  • Industry metrics including sales figures and alternative fuel prices  13 %
  • Podcasts and internet radio  13%
  • Other:

  • Actual range performance
  • Vehicle performance, vehicle appearance and comfort
  • Pricing, Pricing and Pricing.
  • Safety
  • Television
  • Carpool stickers

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