From Purchase to Performance, the New EV Experience

“You plan not only for the first buyer, but then the second and third” says Scott Nash, Verizon Business’ managing director of telematics during his fireside chat at WardsAuto AutoTech: Electrification.

The push towards electrification continues to revolutionize the vehicle ownership experience, but not all industry players are prepared for the growing demands of a new generation of consumer.

“The experience of driving an EV needs to be more delightful than [drivers] have experienced with a gas vehicle” says Nishith Kumar, Uber’s director of global business development. “That is what will really lead to this transition into customizable, electric experiences.”

Discussing how EVs are set to transform the automotive industry was the theme of AutoTech: Electrification 2023. The conference played host to a lineup of traditional and disruptive automakers, tier 1’s and suppliers as they united to prepare for an industry-wide shift.

Not everyone was ready.

“We have not done a very good job of preparing our sales staff to sell EVs… we have to engage our employees before we engage our customers” says Ed Roberts, Bozard Ford Lincoln’s chief operating officer in a comment that will likely resonate with dealers across North America. Roberts continues “dealers forever have focussed on the selling experience and spent very little time on the ownership experience.”

On the other hand, industry disruptors and early adopters know just how important a contemporary ownership experience is.

“We’re looking at every aspect of the vehicle, interior design, mobility, range anxiety, connectivity… the user is the centre of our design” says Cristian Chis, NIO’s head of technology planning.

The benefit of OTAs provided the foundation for many conversations on customizability and user experience. “You plan not only for the first buyer, but then the second and third. That second buyer [must have] a unique experience, more features and functionality than the previous user had” says Scott Nash, Verizon Business’ managing director of telematics.

Building on Nash’s comments, Benny Daniel, Frost & Sullivan’s vice president of mobility consulting says, “mobility is no longer a journey from point a to point b, we see it as an opportunity to really tailor experiences for customers throughout their journey.”

OEMs now see the vehicle as a device that is integrated into the life of its owner, one which can cater to all passengers, and – most importantly – one that can provide additional levels of ease and safety to passengers.

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