Two in three new car buyers don’t recognise new EV brands – despite some being on sale in UK

  • New car buyers aren’t aware of new EV brands from China and US
  • However, used car buyers more likely to go for an unknown brand
  • Awareness is highest for Chery and Fisker, despite not being on sale here in UK

Time 8:10 am, August 8, 2023

New electric car brands may have encountered a major stumbling block for success in the UK – the Great British public.

A new survey has found two in three new car buyers don’t recognise a raft of new electric car brands that have appeared in recent years, despite some of them already being on sale here in the UK.

However, for a third of buyers, this lack of awareness isn’t a barrier to signing on the dotted line as they would consider buying a used car from a new marque, compared to just over a quarter who would buy new.

eBay Motors Group quizzed 2,000 buyers on 10 EV car brands from the US and China.

The company found the highest levels of awareness were for Chery (16 per cent), Fisker (11 per cent) Rivian (nine per cent), Lucid Motors (eight per cent) and Nio (seven per cent), all of which are yet to arrive in the UK.

But awareness of brands already on sale here was lower with just six per cent of respondents having heard of BYD and only four per cent recognising GWM Ora, even though both have been on sale for several months.

GWM Ora, makers of the Funky Cat, even announced the appointment of two new dealers this week, and said it’s on course to have 20 sales sites by the end of the year.

Other brands with low awareness included Lynk & Co (five per cent), Aiways (four per cent) and Zeekr three per cent), all of which are not on currently on offer in Britain.

With many of the new EV makers coming from China, a third of all buyers say they would be confident buying a car from a Chinese brand, the most likely customers being men and those aged under 45.

Lucy Tugby, eBay Motors Group marketing director, said: ‘The rollout of new EV brands from the US and China is set to accelerate but our research shows just how low consumer awareness is of many of them, even those currently on sale in the UK.

‘However, as we’ve seen from the growing popularity of Korean brands since the 1990s, and the successful introduction of Dacia a decade ago, buyers become increasingly receptive to new brands that deliver on affordability and offer good customer buying experiences.

‘Awareness of many of these new EV brands may be low today but buyers are not ruling them out, with our data showing an appetite for consideration once models enter the used market, especially among younger buyers.

‘Consideration is likely to only grow in future.’

10 EV brands by consumer recognition

1. Chery

Recognition: 16.0%

2. Fisker

Recognition: 10.8%

Rivian R1T pick-up

3. Rivian

Recognition: 8.5%

4. Lucid

Recognition: 8.4%

5. Nio

Recognition: 7.2%

6. BYD

Recognition: 6.3%

7. Lynk & Co

Recognition: 5.0%

Ora funky cat (Craig feature)

8. Ora

Recognition: 4.2%

Aiways U6 (Craig feature)

9. Aiways

Recognition: 4.1%

Zeekr X, via PA

10. Zeekr

Recognition: 2.9%

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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