2021 is the beginning of the popularization of electric vehicles. A few years ago, electric cars were just fancy stuff for the early-adopters. However, with the rapid development of electric vehicle-related technologies in recent years, the situation has changed completely. Electric cars are now easy to find on the road; Of course, the rise of the eco-friendly consumer is also contributing to this phenomenon. The electric vehicle era has begun due to technological advances and social demands. So, what kind of electric vehicle do buyers want at this time when EVs become popular?
There is a clear social need behind the rapid approach of the era of EVs. The global trend of carbon neutrality is giving consumers as well as businesses the awareness that immediate action is necessary to respond to climate. Accordingly, consumers are changing the means of transportation, an essential element of life, to zero-emission electric vehicles in order to completely pass on the current home planet to future generations.
Then, who are the ones leading the popularization of electric vehicles, and what kind of electric vehicles do they want? According to a Hyundai Motor Group survey, the main consumers of pure electric vehicles (BEVs) are those in their 30s and 40s with economic power - singles enjoying a single life, young couples enjoying their daily lives, and families of three with young children. They have a tendency to pursue economic rationality and innovation at the same time in their lives. And this tendency is easily seen when choosing an electric vehicle.
It was found that electric vehicle buyers in their 30s and 40s had similar propensities to pursue economy and innovation at the same time, but their specific requirements were different. This is due to differences in lifestyles according to family types. Couples in a family of three or four with children prioritize basic performance and comfortable riding comfort when purchasing electric vehicles based on their practical characteristics. On the other hand, those in their 30s and 40s who do not yet have children or are single, expect a unique design and function for a challenging experience and a role as an independent space just for themselves.
Of course, those in their 30s and 40s have more in common. Economical including maintenance cost is basic, and the ease of after-sales service is carefully considered. In addition, the cruising distance, which is the distance that can be driven on a single charge, is also considered as an important purchase condition. They also valued comfortable interior space, spacious cargo space, and the charging convenience provided by ample charging infrastructure - so that their EV can have sufficient commercial properties as perfected mobility.
As such, electric vehicles must now penetrate more deeply and intimately into the lives of consumers; and this is also what EV6 buyers want. Most of the potential customers answered that they value their own happiness as much as their family. They preferred products that make their lives more enjoyable through the convenience and usefulness of technology. They also preferred products that have undergone a certain time and approved by consumers, rather than the newly released. In addition, their life showed a tendency to enjoy active hobbies with family and to value connection and relationships with other people.
This characteristic was also revealed in the way of looking at cars. When purchasing a vehicle, they valued the design that evolved through new technology while at the same time evaluating the performance that makes driving fun. In particular, they wanted an independent space - their car - to satisfy their needs and be in a place where they can be together with their family. For that reason, they preferred a practical roof design that made the second-row seats more comfortable. They also wanted trims with a lot of options with a variety of specifications; For them, the automobile is not a tool for quick satisfaction or just unique experiences, but a lifetime property.
There were five main considerations for potential EV6 customers when purchasing an electric vehicle. The 1st and 2nd most important priorities were fuel (electricity use) / efficiency (fuel efficiency) and driving range. Next is the charging speed, taking into account the time it takes for repeated driving in daily life and when charging is required during long-distance driving. The fourth was the exterior design and style, and it was found that electric vehicle owners wanted a unique design. The last factor was the charge-related costs - as maintenance costs are also important.
So, who are the customers who have chosen the EV6, and what are their preferred specifications? Looking at the sales data of 9,524 units shipped from August to November, the age of EV6 customers ranged from their 40s (33%), 50s (27%), 30s (18%), over 60s (17%), and 20s (5%). Compared to other cars, EV6 had more evenly distributed consumers, indicating that the EV6 is receiving interest from not only those in their 30s and 40s - the main EV consumers - but also from other age groups. By gender, the male ratio was 78%, higher than that of females (22%), which was similar in all age groups.
By region, the largest number of buyers were in the metropolitan area (53%), such as Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Incheon, where the proportion of people in their 30s and 40s was high. Gyeongsang / Busan / Daegu / Ulsan and Chungcheong / Daejeon recorded double-digit figures with 22% and 11%, respectively. This also showed that purchases were made where many of the 30s and 40s - the main consumers for electric vehicles - live, as well as where the charging infrastructure is relatively stable. However, as GS Caltex and Hyundai are working relentlessly to build a charging infrastructure through collaboration, EVs are expected to be distributed in regions other than the metropolitan area as well.
Comprehensive analysis of contract customers showed that the ratios for two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive were 60.8% and 39.2%, respectively - not significantly different. In the case of four-wheel drive, it seems to be the choice of customers who truly value performance and stability. In the case of trim, a whopping 93.1% of all customers chose the long-range. This proves that electric car owners drive longer distances and use their cars more often. Standard was 5.6%, and there were customers (1.3%) who said they would wait for the upcoming high-performance version of the GT.
As for the exterior color, Snow White Pearl (48.1%), which shows the eco-friendly identity of electric vehicles, was the most selected. It was followed by Interstellar Gray (16%), Glacier (13.2%), Aurora Black Pearl (9.8%), and Moonscape Matte Gray (KLM, 5.1%) in order of popularity. Among them, KLM color was the fifth beloved option after Aurora Black Pearl, despite it is not even a free option - because EV6 customers also value uniqueness.
As the interior color, the owners chose the black (51.5%) that clearly contrasts with the snow white pearl the most. Black also has the advantage of being easy to maintain, but when combined with a bright exterior color, it allows you to focus more on the cabin space. The second most selected color was brown (25.9%), which gave a comfortable and warm atmosphere, and the last ranking was - for the GT line with long-range trim - Black & white with a slightly lighter suede on the edge of the seat (12.5%).
Here are the options separately added by owners with different personalities or family members' preferences and lifestyles. In the case of package items, high-tech specifications focused on convenience and safety were preferred. In particular, in the case of convenience options including Kia Digital Key, Hi-Pass automatic payment system, and Luggage Power Outlet, the selection rate was a whopping 99.8%. In addition, 88.4% of consumers chose comfort options such as passenger power seats, front seat relaxation comfort seats, and passenger walk-in devices that provide convenience and comfort at the same time. 86% and 62.5% of consumers chose the drive wise option with front collision avoidance assist, rear collision avoidance assist, navigation-based smart cruise control, and the premium option with console touch switch, respectively. Finally, nearly half (48.9%) of consumers opted for high-tech options that include augmented reality heads-up displays.
If you look at the option ratio, you can see that EV6 customers value a unique design and a special experience in the cockpit. It is clear from the fact that 20-inch wheels (30.9%), which have a lot of influence on style, and Meridian Premium Sound (20.6%), which provides high-quality sound, was beloved. In addition, convenience and safety features that enhance safety and comfort, such as built-in cam (21.2%) and sunroof (22.4%), were also frequently chosen.
From its launch in August to November, about 24,000 EV6 units were sold worldwide despite the special situation of Corona 19 - Solid product quality that houses a unique design, space utilization, convenience, driving performance, and a comfortable cruising distance thanks for. This was possible for Kia's efforts to listen to customers' voices and act on them. In the second half of 2022, Kia plans to release the GT model, a high-performance version of the EV6, in response to consumer demand for more powerful driving performance. With Kia's various electrification models, the popularization of electric vehicles will be accelerated.
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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