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Electric Cars - US - September 2009

This report explores the electric car market in the US. It provides insight into the external and internal factors affecting future electric car sales, promotional campaigns, and industry innovations, and covers five electric car segments: parallel hybrids, series hybrids, power split hybrids, extended range plug-ins and pure electrics.

Specific questions that are answered in this report include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What do the major manufacturers have planned for the development of electric vehicles?
  • What effects do rising gasoline costs and the economic downturn have on the overall market?
  • How will cost constraints affect price of the electric vehicles?
  • What is being done to update the country’s infrastructure in preparation for the future availability of plug-in electric vehicles?
  • What are the different segments of electric cars, and where are companies focusing their production?
  • How will the grants issued by the government for the development of electric vehicles contribute to future growth?
  • What types of advertising and promotion are companies using to introduce the consumer to electric car technology?
  • Who are the prospective electric buyers? What are their habits, opinions, and concerns regarding electric vehicles?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • The electric car market has arrived; automakers committing to production
                      • High battery costs prevent automakers from offering an affordable electric
                        • China poses a threat to U.S. electric car and battery manufacturers
                          • Government investment helping drive electric car technology
                            • High gas prices, overall “greening” of consumers are major market drivers
                              • Toyota hopes to build Prius brand in the new market for electric vehicles
                                • Automakers forming key partnerships to stay competitive
                                  • Automakers setting immediate goals to get EVs on the road
                                    • Consumer survey results
                                    • Insights and Opportunities

                                      • With the saturation of “hybrid,” EVs can market technology instead
                                        • Create an intelligent vehicle
                                          • Buying the miles without the battery: A new EV business model
                                            • Let the consumer pay only for miles driven
                                            • Inspire Insights

                                                • Trend 1: Handled With Care
                                                  • Feel-Anthropy: The return of the philanthropic feelgood factor
                                                    • Driving your EV or hybrid: Not just good for you, it’s good for everyone
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Hybrid market predicted to grow to 11.28 million vehicles by 2020
                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                          • Overview
                                                            • Lithium-ion battery cost threatens electric car’s power, affordability
                                                              • Nation’s electrical grid currently insufficient to support expected EV boom
                                                                • Chinese auto industry expects to produce 500,000 electric cars by 2011
                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Extended range plug-ins and pure EVs are the next wave of green cars
                                                                    • Segment Performance—Series Hybrids

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Series hybrids represent the simplest electric, but also more expensive
                                                                        • Segment Performance—Parallel Hybrids

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Parallel hybrid segment best represented by Honda Insight
                                                                            • Segment Performance—Power-split Hybrid

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Toyota’s novel design with Prius produces world’s bestselling hybrid
                                                                                • Segment Performance—Extended Range Plug-Ins

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Plug-in hybrid electric launches expected for 2011, threatened by cost
                                                                                      • Hybrid kits available to transform ordinary hybrids into full EVs
                                                                                      • Segment Performance—Pure Electrics

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Pure electric prototypes could represent the electric market of the future
                                                                                            • Hydrogen-driven cars remain in infancy due to cost, technology difficulties
                                                                                              • Despite challenges, Honda is at the forefront of fuel cell technology
                                                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                                                • $2.4 billion in stimulus funds awarded to accelerate battery development
                                                                                                  • Unstable gas price fluctuation may affect EV sales over long term
                                                                                                    • Figure 1: U.S. gasoline prices, 2003-09
                                                                                                • Leading Companies

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                                      • Toyota Motor Co.
                                                                                                        • General Motors
                                                                                                          • Ford Motor Company
                                                                                                            • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                              • Honda Motor Co.
                                                                                                                • Nissan Motor Co.
                                                                                                                  • Hyundai Motor Co.
                                                                                                                  • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                                    • Prius builds upon its brand as the original hybrid
                                                                                                                      • Tesla Motors seizes on first-mover advantage
                                                                                                                      • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                        • Ford’s Sync develops communication system to help drivers recharge
                                                                                                                          • Automakers form key partnerships to stay competitive in EV production
                                                                                                                            • General Motors and LG Chem
                                                                                                                              • Nissan working with state power provider, city of Seattle
                                                                                                                                • Ford saved money by partnering with supplier to develop plug-in Focus
                                                                                                                                • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                                  • Getting EVs on the road and in the consumer’s mind
                                                                                                                                    • It’s not easy being green: blue replaces green to emphasize clean driving
                                                                                                                                      • Toyota positions the Prius as a launch pad for future EV technologies
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 2: Toyota television ad, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Honda forgoes environmental image in favor of one that emphasizes fun
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 3: Honda television ad, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Prius Ad stresses harmony between man, nature, and machine
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 4: Toyota television ad, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Chevy takes the Malibu from assembly line to forest
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 5: Chevrolet Malibu television ad, 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Vehicle Ownership

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Compact, smaller cars are among the most commonly purchased vehicles
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 6: Vehicle ownership, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                        • SUVs remain the vehicle of choice for young drivers
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 7: Vehicle ownership, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Consumer taste for small vehicles spans across all household incomes
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 8: Vehicle ownership, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Vehicle Purchasing Factors

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Electric car purchasing threatened by devalue of environmentalism
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 9: Vehicle purchasing factors, July 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Impact on the environment: Gender
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 10: Impact on the environment as a purchase factor, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Impact on the environment: Age
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 11: Impact on the environment as a purchase factor, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Good gas mileage: Gender
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 12: Good gas mileage as a purchase factor, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Good gas mileage: Age
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 13: Good gas mileage as a purchase factor, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Hybrid Satisfaction

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • For many consumers, gas mileage still not as good as expected
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: Consumer attitudes towards gas mileage, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Hybrid owners small in numbers, many still need gas-mileage solutions
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: Hybrid vehicle ownership, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Driving Participation

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Most driving is done over short distances
                                                                                                                                                    • Females spend more time than men driving locally
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Driving habits, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Higher household income corresponds to greater city/local driving
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Driving habits, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Willingness to Purchase an Electric

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Likelihood of electric car purchase, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Young consumers are prospective EV buyers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Likelihood of electric car purchase, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Higher-income households more likely to purchase plug-in electrics
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Likelihood of electric car purchase, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Knowledge of Electric Cars

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Halfway there: But consumer EV awareness has room to grow
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Consumer knowledge of electric cars, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Young consumers lag in EV intelligence
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Consumer knowledge of electric cars, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Concerns About Electric Cars

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Battery issues top list of consumer concerns
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Consumer concerns about electric cars, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • More affluent consumers respond, show us performance
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Consumer concerns about electric cars, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Opinion on Electric Car Mandates, Funding

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumers not likely to push back against government incentives for EVs
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Consumer opinions on electric car mandates, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • As household income rises, respondents more likely to support incentives
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Consumer concerns about electric cars, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • SUVs and small vehicles drive Hispanic buying
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Vehicle ownership, by race or Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Impact on the environment: Race
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Impact on the environment as a purchase factor, by race or Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Good gas mileage: Race
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Good gas mileage as a purchase factor, by race or Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • A third of Hispanics open to purchasing an electric car
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Likelihood of electric car purchase, by race or Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Black and Hispanic consumers less concerned about battery issues
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Consumer concerns about electric cars, by race or Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                            • Possible Pluggers
                                                                                                                                                                              • The Amped
                                                                                                                                                                                • Combustibles
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Vehicle choice, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Driving frequency, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Plug-in consideration, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Electric car knowledge, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Electric car concerns, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Purchasing factors, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Purchase satisfaction, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Support of government mandates, by electric car clusters, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Electric car clusters, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Electric car clusters, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Electric car clusters, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Electric car clusters, by race, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Electric car clusters, by Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer attitudes towards gas mileage by household income
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Consumer attitudes towards gas mileage, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer attitudes towards gas mileage by gender
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Gas mileage vehicle satisfaction, by gender, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Impact on the environment: Household income
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Impact on the environment as a purchase factor, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Good gas mileage: household income
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Good gas mileage as a purchase factor, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Driving habits by age
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Driving habits, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer knowledge of electric cars by household income
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Consumer knowledge of electric cars, by household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer opinions of government mandates by age
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Consumer opinions of government mandates, by age, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer attitudes towards gas mileage by race or Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Consumer attitudes towards gas mileage, by race or Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Likelihood of electric car purchase by race or Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Likelihood of electric car purchase, by race or Hispanic origin, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Alliance Of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • BMW of North America, LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fiat Auto
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • General Motors Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hyundai Motor America
                                                                                                                                                                                    • IBM USA (International Business Machines)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jaguar Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Johnson Controls, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • JPMorgan Chase & Co
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kia Motors America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Magna Holdings
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mazda North American Operations
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • NEC Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Nissan North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Palo Alto Software Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Renault S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                                                    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Volkswagen AG
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Volkswagen of America, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Electric Cars - US - September 2009

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