This is not an electric car.

Rather, it’s a big toy for showing off! 


What primarily motivates consumers to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) is not their concern for the environment, even if that is a contributing factor. Instead, they are motivated above all by the uniqueness of the consumption experience, gamification and the status of driving an EV. They are buying a big toy that they can be proud of!

Buy, play, show off

An EV offers the ultimate in consumption gratification, a high-level technological toy, an undeniable social marker – and yes, a token gesture for the health of the planet!

In fact, the results of our research on their values as consumers tell us that while the environmental engagement of electric vehicle (EV) owners is real, it’s not their first priority in life.

A gift for innovators and early adopters

What drives them the most is their appetite for innovation. They desire everything that the latest technology can offer them. And they want to be the first to get it. They have a strong need to reinvent their daily lives. They are eager to experience the transformative effects of innovation, which they hope will convert the smallest daily tasks into fun experiences and opportunities for enjoyment.

The ergonomics of an EV, its interfaces and the design of its user experience provide a feeling of trendiness and transformation (at least for these owners).


A social marker

The coolest of the cool! You don't drive an EV. You wear it. You display it. You show it off with pride! It’s a status symbol, indicating that the person is on trend, embodies that latest progress and is moving society and the world forward. EVs let their owners show off their social distinction (at least, that's what they hope).

EV owners are achievers and social climbers who aspire to show off their status to others. An EV is just the ticket!


Some concern about ecological issues

Still, they are nevertheless aware of the environmental problems threatening the planet and, to some extent, want to do their part by adopting a lifestyle that limits their carbon footprint. However, their index numbers on these dimensions are significantly weaker than those for pleasure and pride. Despite that, they still have a conscience!


A positioning challenge

Clearly, for EV manufacturers, the way to convert consumers to their brand is to promote the technological superiority of its offer, its ability to transform the driving experience and to position it as an object of prestige. Ecological virtue will give its some added value!


Values and hot buttons of Electric Vehicle consumers (Canada, Panorama 2021)

The indices on this table compare EV consumers to the rest of the population and quantify the extent of their variance. At 100, these consumers would be similar to the general population.


What about your products and brands? Do they appeal to unsuspected needs? Is there an opportunity to make them more relevant to your target audiences?