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The road ahead for e-mobility

How can automakers captivate consumers and achieve mass-market electric-vehicle adoption?

Electrification represents the biggest technological development in automotive power trains in decades, yet there is still significant uncertainty as to when actual, large-scale adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will occur. There is currently a lack of the systematic, fact-based investigation of e-mobility-industry dynamics necessary to understand what is still holding back the mass-market adoption of EVs and what is required to finally get it off the ground. Against this backdrop, this report provides fresh insights into four central and pressing questions for the auto industry at large:

  • What is the current level of mass-market readiness for EV adoption?
  • What are consumers’ current perceptions regarding the purchase of EVs—and how have they developed since 2016?
  • How prepared are OEMs and their dealer outlets to sell EVs, and how can their readiness be improved?
  • How can OEMs contribute to rapid, large-scale EV adoption and improve their EV-related business case?

Our research yielded the following key insights, which the report details:

  1. Market research shows worldwide EV sales approaching 2.3 million vehicles, with market penetration of 2.4 percent in 2019. And OEMs’ EV-model pipelines are fuller than ever before, with approximately 400 new battery-EV models expected to hit the market through 2025.
  2. Consumers’ consideration of EVs has significantly increased over the past few years, as consumers recognize the numerous benefits of EVs. But significant EV-specific concerns persist—for example, concerns regarding batteries, charging, and driving range—and prevent a large-scale consumer pull for EVs.
  3. By measuring OEMs’ EV-sales readiness, we can identify the key pain points that OEMs need to address to boost sales and build their business case for EVs.
  4. To make EVs ready for the mass market, OEMs need to achieve five key moments of truth to trigger a larger fraction of consumers switching to EVs: the digital moment of truth, the in-store moment of truth, the driving moment of truth, the charging moment of truth, and the after-sales moment of truth.

Download The road ahead for e-mobility, the full report on which this article is based (PDF–1.3MB).

About the author(s)

Thomas Gersdorf is a consultant in McKinsey’s Munich office, where Patrick Schaufuss is an associate partner and Andreas Tschiesner is a senior partner; Russell Hensley is a partner in the Detroit office; and Patrick Hertzke is a partner in the London office.

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