Vehicle Electrification

Major Domestic Vehicle Manufacturer

Coaxed by fuel economy regulations and disruptive innovators, established vehicle manufactures have been pushed to introduce alternative powertrains to their vehicle line-ups. Compared to conventional gasoline or diesel engines, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, full battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and compressed natural gas fueling options all present distinct advantages and compromises for both manufactures and consumers.

RSG has international experience interviewing consumers to identify opportunities and anticipate investments that will fall flat. A US based auto manufacturer partnered with RSG to quantify the trade-offs consumers are willing to make among powertrain alternatives. This includes the more obvious trade-off between fuel costs and purchase price, as well as compromises involving driving range, acceleration rates, re-fueling time, body-style, passenger capacity and luggage capacity.

RSG surveyed new car purchasers and intenders in the US, Europe, and China. The study participants were asked to evaluate different attribute combinations through an online discrete choice exercise. Preferences for vehicle features were measured through a MaxDiff exercise and supporting attitudinal and demographic information was collected to profile the participants. These data were modeled to reveal some key differences and similarities in preferences across regional and international markets. Latent class analysis was used to find helpful insights into segments of the population that were most interested in purchasing vehicles with non-conventional engines.

The client used the research findings to inform cost/benefit calculations for the engineering and design teams, as well as the messaging and go-to-market strategy for their first generation of electrified vehicles.

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