This report serves as a supplement to an Analysis of LMI CVRP Participation in which CSE evaluated the representation and perspectives of low to moderate-income (LMI) individuals within CVRP (Clean Vehicle Rebate Project). CSE conducted focus groups of LMI individuals to understand (1) LMI barriers to adopting electric vehicles (EVs) and (2) how adapting marketing efforts may better serve the LMI population. This report provides an analysis of barriers and preferred information sources by demographics: ethnicity, race, age and household size.
We focused on demographics underrepresented in CVRP when compared to the general LMI population of licensed drivers: those who identify their ethnicity as Hispanic, Latino, Latina and Latinx; those who are Black or African American, those who are White, those who are 21-39 in age and those who are women. Our analysis concluded the following.
Cost and charging vary as primary concerns among underrepresented LMI groups, but both are important across groups.
- Costs are more prevalent concerns among individuals of Hispanic, Latino, Latina and Latinx ethnicity, while those not of this ethnicity are more concerned about charging issues. Specifically, Hispanic, Latino, Latina and Latinx individuals are concerned about the costs of EVs and the costs of charging.1
- Charging issues are the predominant barriers among Black or African American and White individuals. Black or African Americans were also less concerned about costs than White individuals.2
- Ages up to 39 are most concerned about costs. Within ages 30-39, cost concerns are on par with charging concerns.3
- Cost concerns are most prevalent among men and women. Women tend to have a higher concern about range than men.
All underrepresented LMI groups prefer online outreach but also value in-person educational opportunities. Whether online or in-person, participants prefer impartial, unbiased sources.
- Participants preferred online sources (e.g., detailed online reviews by consumers, online dealer information, YouTubers comparing various models) to other traditional outreach methods.
- Experiential learning such as test drives and informational events where people can experience EVs first-hand are highly valued; participants expressed events would demystify EVs and provide more comfort for individuals to consider EVs.
- Personal testimony, whether from personal contacts or online reviewers, is also important to this group. Participants spoke of the value they find in talking with trusted mechanics and engaging in consumer reviews online.
We recommend that marketing strategies be evaluated for underrepresented demographics, focusing on the key barriers. Talking points tailored to each demographic’s most mentioned barriers may more directly address their concerns. We also suggest reaching demographic populations with methods and information sources they prefer, especially impartial online reviews and experiential learning like informational events and test drives.
In summary, LMI individuals expressed practical concerns regarding the costs of EVs and charging, lack of charging stations and time to charge. Participants identified preferred methods of reaching them; online sources are largely preferred and accessible. LMI individuals are seeking impartial, detailed information in easily accessible ways. Their interest in experiential learning indicates excitement and willingness to learn about EVs. With these insights in mind, we recommend evaluating marketing efforts; enhancing methods that address LMI concerns directly within preferred communication channels may aid in efforts to increase equity within CVRP.
1 Gartner, J., Cain, N. J., MacNeille, B., & McCormack, R. (2021). Analysis of LMI CVRP Participation.
2 LMI individuals within the focus groups were those with incomes at or below the 400% Federal Poverty Level, the threshold for the Increased Rebate as of January 27, 2021. Six groups of 5-6 people each were held in March and April 2021.
3 Costs were 27% of mentions of barriers; charging, 25%. Gartner, J., Cain, N. J., MacNeille, B., & McCormack, R. (2021). Analysis of LMI CVRP Participation.