The European and American EV markets are growing fast, with sales climbing each year. However, despite being served by basically the same EV companies, the average requirements of buyers in the two markets are not the same. This is why EV makers have to vary their approaches in addressing the two regions.
What are EV buyers in Europe and the US looking for? We look at these and more in this article.
Average daily driving ranges
This is one of the most notable differences between European and American drivers. The former drive less on average. In fact, about half of what the latter do yearly. Americans also tend to take longer trips, which is not very necessary in Europe, where flights tend to be cheaper.
Due to fewer driving needs, European buyers can often live with smaller EVs with smaller batteries and a shorter range. But Americans tend to be more comfortable with EVs that yield longer ranges. This explains why EVs with driving ranges of less than 200 km have no problems selling in Europe.
Type of EVs
Americans tend to favor larger EVs like sedans or SUVs and with higher performance. This is different from the market in Europe, where small hatchbacks with moderate horsepower sell quite well. It also makes the average sticker price for an EV lower in Europe than in the US.
Another difference lies in how many models are available to buy. Europeans have more choices for electric vehicles because the EV market in Europe is more mature and thus there are more models on the market than in the US. However, the options in the US might increase this coming year and new models have been announced from OEM's like Ford, Chrysler, GMC, GM, Polestar, Volvo, and Tesla, to name a few. This is because many automakers in the US are envious of the rewards and market share Tesla has gained, and have promised to bring their cars to the market sooner rather than later.
Europeans tend to place orders in advance, with opportunities to customize their car. This is different from the experience in the US, where buyers go to the dealership and purchase from what is available on the lot.
The American method of buying places them at the mercy of the dealers, who often put a significant markup on the car, especially when it is limited. Reports recently surfaced about a buyer who decided to buy from a different manufacturer that allows buyers to make orders online after a dealer added a $50,000 markup on an electric Mercedes-Benz EQS. Ford is also encouraging its dealers not to add exorbitant markups to or hoard stock of its upcoming F-150 Lightning. Even when buyers go through dealers in Europe, the markup is not usually as high and egregious.
Tesla on the other hand pioneered this European vehicle sales model in the US with tremendous success. So much so that many others in the space have begun to follow suit.