Traditionally car marketers looked at a fixed set of variables to define market sub segments. These are length and body type. E.g. A segment are small cars, C-segments are the compacts, etc. Within these segments there are segments of different body types. Hatchbacks, SUV’s, coupes etc .
With the sales of EV’s (electric vehicles) finally taking off, there is a whole new set of cars coming to playing field.
The expectations of the number of EV’s that will be sold in the Netherlands varies per source. Below you find an overview of various studies held in this country and how they expect the market share of EV’s to evolve as part of overall car sales. A general accepted figure is that by 2015, 15% of the annual car sales in this country will be EV’s. In absolute figures this would be app. 75000 cars.
Until recent an EV was an EV, but with the rise of sales, different segments are being established.
- Fully electric, such as the Mitsubishi I-MIEV/ Peugeot Ion, The Renault Fluence or the Nissan Leaf.
- With a range extender. Opel Ampere/ Chevrolet Volt.
- Plug-in hybrids. E.g. the Toyota Prius plug in.
Technology is still the most discriminating segmentation factor. With sales becoming significant in numbers this year the question will be, who will turn out to be market leader at the end of the year? The answer cannot be predicted with the traditional segment criteria, size, bodyshape and technology.
In the Netherlands EV’s are predominantly sold as company cars. The reasons are clear : Significant tax advantages for drivers and the fact that companies can enhance a sustainable image with a fleet of EV’s.
On Tuesday March 27th BMW invited 18 companies to its headquarters in the Netherlands. Among which were economic powerhouses, such as Ernst & Young, KPMG, Van Gansewinkel, Cofely, Alcatel-Lucent, KPN telecom and ABN AMRO bank. The event was about handing over the first 30 BMW 1 series ActiveE EV’s. The experiences of the drivers will be shared in the BMW ActiveE Business Club.
One thing BMW definitely sees right. Initially the EV market is not solely about the product. The one brand that can call itself EV market leader after this year is the one that has
- a product tailored to the needs of business drivers,
- the best marketing and sales program aimed at fleet owners and drivers ,
- excellent relationships with lease companies,
- solutions for charging and
- understands how to bring the best offer to the table in a (public) procurement processes.
The future will tell which brand holds that all.