Energising electric vehicle sales: how to reach customers beyond the early adopters

New marketing strategies will feel uncomfortable at first but will be the fastest route to sales growth for automakers and dealers, write Harris Ng, Seth Cairo and Benjamin Walker

In April 2019, Tesla announced that it lost US$702m in the first quarter of 2019, selling 31% fewer vehicles than the prior quarter. A reduction in tax credits and falling demand for high-end models contributed to Tesla’s declines, but Tesla is not alone in slowed sales of electric vehicles (EVs). Many automakers and dealers are seeing stagnating or slower-than-expected sales of electric cars, even as automakers introduce new EV models.

EVs represent just 1% of new passenger vehicle production globally, a number we expect to reach only 10% by 2030. For all their promise as the car of the future for consumers and industry alike, the adoption of EVs does not match their electrifying initial acceleration. Why?…

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