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EVs and hybrids remain fourth-ranked sector among online researchers

Nissan Leaf EV

Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids remain the fourth-ranked vehicle search criteria among potential car buyers researching their next purchase online, according to Sophus3.

But while EVs still sit behind SUVs, supercars and compacts in the online marketing specialist’s rank of popular web searches, car buyers looking at online content on zero-emission mobility spend 70% longer scrutinising their chosen vehicle.

Sophus3 managing director, Scott Gairns, said that understanding the shift towards the research of low-emissions cars online was important for car retailers and marketers experts alike.

He said: “We all know that electric car interest is growing, and it’s clear from our analysis that as a segment it is now more popular for online research and interest than sports cars, city cars and even midsize executive cars.

“But for car brands to exploit this growing interest, it is vital to understand how potential car buyers behave when on electric car sites, what they are looking for and where they have come from.

“Our access to virtually all car brands’ online platforms in the UK and Europe provides this vital intelligence that could define the electric car market in the coming years.”

Gairns added: “If electric car adoption is to integrate with the current imbalance between consumer, political and industry demand and challenges, then understanding how potential electric car adopters are searching, and what information they are searching for, is vital.”

Sophus3’s analysis of over one billion digital interactions on car brand websites in 2018 shows that electric cars, which Sophus3 defines as pure and hybrid electric cars, are now clearly established as a defined segment.

Electric cars are the 4th most searched-for range of models in the UK, and more popular than the established segments of sports cars, city cars and midsize executives.

With 5.44% of all visits in 2018, electric cars still fall short of the top three segments, compact, supermini and SUVs.

SUVs represented an incredible 37.48% of all automotive model online activity in 2018.

Sophus3 has found that electric car considerers spend over 33% more time on model pages than traditional car researchers and those booking a test drive request are spending an incredible 70% longer on the model page of their choice than for a traditional car test drive request.

Sophus3’s electric car analysis in 2018 shows Nissan and its UK-built Leaf as the stand-out performer in the segment.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV comes in a very strong second, followed by the VW e-Golf, with the remaining electric cars in Sophus3’s analysis of top ten performers indicating strong interest in car brands’ bespoke electric offerings over straightforward electric versions of existing ICE cars.

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