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Designing an Electric Vehicle Program? Start Here.

Published June 21, 2017

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Electric vehicle adoption is on the rise. A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts electric vehicles, often called EVs, will cost less to own than their internal combustion engine counterparts as early as 2022. By 2040, EVs will make up 35 percent of global new car sales. As we continue to grow this market to align with interest in this technology, acknowledging the first step in the customer life cycle—awareness—is of the utmost importance.

According to a survey by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), about 90 percent of car buyers know exactly what they want when they walk on to a dealer lot. But how is your customer supposed to make an informed decision about purchasing an EV if they don’t know the benefits or costs that come with owning one? A barrier to the adoption of EVs is a lack of information and suspicion of the unknown.

Shifting EV Strategy into Drive” is a recent webinar for the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) featuring Thor Hinckley of CLEAResult, Lin-Zhuang Khoo of Greenlots, Ralph Troute and John Grindrod of SMUD and Brian Boler of Clean Power Research. These EV experts agree that easing uncertainty starts with outreach, which creates a two-way conversation between a utility and its customers.

If you’re considering a new EV program—or revitalizing an existing one—we encourage utilities start with customer education and outreach. Our latest webinar for AESP expands on this subject in detail—it’s worth a listen. But if all you have is another minute, consider these three tips on informing your customers about EVs:

1. Drive interest
One example is how SMUD organizes “ride and drive” events that offer people in the community an opportunity to test drive an EV.
2. Become a resource
Whether it’s a seminar, workshop or video series, think of ways to answer your customers’ questions directly.
3. Motivate action
Make it easier for people to buy EVs by educating your customers about available incentives.

Understanding the customer life cycle—especially the first step of awareness—will bolster EV adoption and, in turn, load growth and other benefits for the electricity provider. Watch the full webinar, “Shifting EV Strategy into Drive: Best Practices and Lessons Learned,” on AESP’s website.

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