Two-thirds of consumers are “sustainability-conscious drivers,” Accenture

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Almost two-thirds of consumers are “sustainability-conscious drivers”, seeing themselves as very or extremely environmentally conscious, which will force automakers to evolve their offerings to meet the growing demand for automotive sustainability, according to the company. an Accenture report.

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“In one of the most disrupted industries in the world – in the face of connected technologies, the electrification of transport and autonomous vehicles – adopting and helping sustainability-conscious drivers translate their values ​​into their purchases is and will be a field. major competitive battle for the future.

Based on a survey of 8,500 consumers in the United States, China and eight European countries, the “Breaking the Myths About Automotive Sustainability” report examines the challenges faced by automakers given the demand sustainability and digitization linked to mobility. The report is part of Accenture’s “What Digital Drivers Want” series.

A key conclusion: durability is no longer a secondary concern for car buyers and drivers. Not only 64% of respondents are sustainable development-conscious drivers, but most prefer their next vehicle to be an electric fuel cell vehicle. They don’t want new internal combustion engine vehicles. And it’s not just durability-conscious drivers who would prefer an NEV for their next vehicle, as more than half (53%) of less sustainability-conscious drivers also say they would prefer NEVs.

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The report also showed that no brand is seen as the clear leader in the world’s best sustainability concept. In fact, almost as many drivers think BMW or Audi have the better concept of sustainability (11% each) as Tesla (12%). In many cases, respondents were more likely to choose automakers based on their home market as having one of the best sustainability concepts. Americans are therefore turning to Tesla and Europeans to BMWs and Audi, for example. Even in service and repairs, more than a quarter (28%) of sustainability-conscious drivers do not have a clear preference for a brand with the best sustainability concept.

“Despite popular belief, the race to become – and be seen as – a sustainable automotive brand is not yet over,” said Axel Schmidt, senior general manager of Accenture who leads his automotive industry practice at the global scale. “The electric vehicle market was the only segment with significant growth in 2020. Drivers are ready for sustainable mobility, but there are still some obstacles, starting with the charging infrastructure up to the still relatively high price per kWh.

In terms of sustainable development, the brand takes a back seat
Drivers who care about sustainability are not tied to a particular brand. In fact, 97% of them would change brands for a more durable vehicle, and 99% would for greater durability in service and repairs. The report notes that automakers who fail to compete for the hearts and minds of sustainability-conscious drivers – that is, by not making the necessary investments in sustainability – will lose customers to competitors who have become more focused and committed to sustainability.

“Drivers are increasingly questioning long-held beliefs among many senior executives and marketers in the automotive industry that consumers would never pay more for sustainability,” said Peter Lacy , Director of Responsibility and Global Head of Sustainability Services at Accenture. “In one of the most disrupted industries in the world – in the face of connected technologies, transport electrification and autonomous vehicles – adopting and helping sustainability-conscious drivers translate their values ​​into their purchases is and will be a field. major competitive battle for the future.

Drivers will pay a premium for sustainability
Of the many automotive myths that the report debunks, most drivers are very price sensitive and won’t pay more for greater durability. The report finds that sustainability-conscious drivers are not only willing to switch to NEVs, but would pay a higher price for a “sustainable vehicle”. For example, 30% of sustainability-conscious drivers are willing to pay 1-5% more for a sustainable vehicle, and an additional 60% are willing to pay at least 6% more, including 4% who surprisingly say that ‘they would. pay 25% more.

Drivers concerned with sustainability are also willing to accept some other trade-offs for a sustainable vehicle, with more than six in 10 willing to accept a car with a less attractive and more functional design (63%) or a car with reduced performance ( 62%). In other words, sustainability-conscious drivers are willing to compromise on factors that many in the automotive industry see as critical, non-negotiable purchasing criteria.

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