Electric cars: What’s happened to the ads?

Something has gone missing in the UK’s drive towards zero-carbon motoring: advertising.

The DNA of the UK’s car fleet is changing. Whereas every car once had a tailpipe, that is no longer the case. Total UK car sales have declined recently, and a more detailed look at the figures reveals some interesting trends.

On the graph electric vehicles (which includes all hybrids) are represented by the yellow curve, while petrol and diesel sales are represented by the red and blue curves respectively. You can clearly see just how dramatic the recent plunge in new diesel sales has been. And it’s equally clear that electrified vehicle (EV) sales are beginning to increase quite dramatically, albeit from a low base.

This rise in EV sales is impressive on a number of levels. Clearly there is a pre-existing level of demand for electrified vehicles; it turns out that some people want environmentally friendly cars that have dirt-cheap running costs and are often quite cool to boot.

However, demand can be induced – in particular, by companies’ marketing efforts. Spend more on advertising a particular product or set of products, and more will be demanded; this is after all what advertising is for.

This leads to interesting questions: are car manufacturers themselves trying to increase demand – and if they’re not, why not?

Read more: ECIU

Comments (1)

  1. Jeremy Cooke


    The Problem is Profit! Big Auto business model depends upon “resellers or franchises”. The manufacturers future depends upon their reseller partners making profit. The RSP of cars has been pushed right down by competitive market forces that Authorised Franchises are lucky to make low single digit % margins on the sale of a new car. They depend on Service and 2nd hand car sales to make money, with service making up the lions share. have you EVER been told you need new brake Pads without being told you also need new discs. The fear and probable reality is that todays franchises will not harvest service revenues from EVs ( 19 moving engine parts versus 2000+ in an ICE) AND power regeneration saves the brake pads. Tell owners claim 150,000 miles before having to fit new Pads

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