The Road to 2030: How can UX drive customers towards choosing electric?

By Evolved • 18 March 2022 • minutes reading time

With the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles on the horizon, now is the time for automotive companies to go all-out in committing to their EV strategy and bringing consumers along for the ride by creating an excellent user experience.

It’s estimated that 395,000 zero-emission battery electric vehicles are already on UK roads, and demand will continue to grow with over half of younger drivers saying they are likely to switch to an all-electric vehicle in the next decade.  But, despite surging interest in electric vehicles, switching to EV can still be a daunting decision for drivers: cost, “range anxiety” and access to charging points have all been cited as barriers to going electric in recent ONS research.

Overcoming these barriers, and guiding consumers on the journey to buying or leasing EVs, is going to be a critical part of any automotive company’s strategy in the coming years. But how best to do this?

Well, this is where your onsite user experience (UX) becomes all-important: the best user experiences resonate with consumers’ needs, concerns and pain points and will be impactful in reassuring, educating, and motivating consumers through the process of going electric.

Here, we’ve reviewed the top 10 Google-ranked websites for ‘electric car leasing’ to see how they are using UX to showcase their EV credentials and help customers on that journey.

1 Select Car Leasing
2 EDF Energy
5 Vanarama
6 DriveElectric
7 Pinkcarleasing
8 First Vehicle Leasing
10 Nationwide Vehicle Contracts

How the top 10 companies for ‘electric car leasing’ showcase their EV offering 

The top 10 websites ranked for electric leasing are a varied bunch – your big car leasing websites (Select, Leasing.Com), electric vehicle specialists (Drive Electric, Electric Car Lease), and national companies with an offshoot into the electric market (EDF Energy, RAC).

From a UX point of view, there are a couple of things that most of the top 10 do to communicate their EV offering onsite. For example:

  • 10/10 websites include a wealth of technical information on their electric vehicle deal pages.
  • 8/10 websites have easy-to-access help guides specific to electric vehicles – and these invariably address the biggest consumer concerns, like EV range and charging infrastructure.
  • 7/10 have an ‘electric vehicles’ landing page clearly signposted in their main website navigation.
  • 6/10 websites let users to filter their search results to find electric cars.

We’ve devised a 32-point list of important UX factors to determine which brand is winning the race when it comes to EV. This is based on five core areas of the user journey: homepage, listings, deal pages, electric pages, and help/guides.

Graph shows which leasing companies are measuring up against 32 criteria to encourage customers into choosing electric - Evolved Search

These top 10 websites also repeat similar messages to affirm the benefits of leasing an electric vehicle and leasing with them specifically. The most commonly repeated messages are around the affordability of leasing, the chance to drive brand-new vehicles, and the reduced ongoing/monthly costs associated with electric vehicles.

With all of these items being commonly adopted by the top-ranked websites for electric car leasing, we might like to think of these as the table stakes for any automotive company looking to showcase its credibility and expertise in the EV space. While all of these aspects are effective ways of making the EV offering visible onsite, some of the top-ranked sites are going one step further, employing some small – yet powerful – UX features that speak directly to customers’ deeper needs and concerns around EV.

Elevating the UX around electric vehicles 

The best user experiences are ones that are built on a real understanding of – and empathy with – customer needs, worries, and pain points. As we’ve seen, drivers have some real concerns about electric cars, and there are some great examples of how the leading electric car leasing companies are responding to these deeper needs and concerns through the user experience they present on their website.

Let’s take a closer look at how they do this exactly….

  1. Directly addressing the main concerns around EV

We know that, in particular, drivers are worried about the range of electric cars and whether they will make it from A to B.

All of the top 10 sites have detailed data around the range of cars and battery life, but how this is displayed is not necessarily effective at alleviating the basic concern that your electric car may run out of juice leaving you stranded halfway up the M1. It’s all well and good to display the battery kWh, but if this information is hidden away on the site (which is usually the case) and presented without context it can be very difficult for customers to understand what it means for them and their day-to-day car journeys.

An effective way of overcoming this hurdle is translating this technical data into a more relatable, real-world context. Enter Electric Car Lease, which is doing a good job of deconstructing the technical data behind EVs.

These examples are taken from their electric car vehicle pages, which include these helpful breakdowns of the car range (in miles, not km as many sites do) and how it will perform in different driving conditions.

The charge times information tab also presents a clear picture of how long a driver can expect to charge their car depending on the charger type. This may seem pretty simple, but a lot of electric car leasing websites show the charge times in seconds – do you think a potential customer is going to more easily understand that their electric car of choice will charge in 26 minutes or 1560 seconds? I thought so.

The takeaway here: Real-world rather than technical information is going to be more effective in removing any initial concerns consumers have around EV range and charging.

  1. Making users feel reassured and confident 

As well as creating touchpoints within the user experience that address the specific concerns consumers have around EV, this is still a new topic and consumers are likely to have a whole range of personal circumstances and questions that they need advice and answers to.

Many of the top-ranked leasing sites include a way to get in touch once a user is looking at, and more seriously considering, a specific car (e.g. phone, WhatsApp, live chat, email). These functions are a great way of highlighting the option to get help, but a few of the leading sites have taken this up a notch by providing that extra feeling of assurance to users.

Take Drive Electric for example:

Their vehicle pages don’t just have small phone/email/chat icons, but a prominent block that lets users know there is an option to get their questions answered – strategically placed at the point where a user is likely to be starting to do some thinking on whether this car is the one for them in terms of cost, mileage, and contract length.

The micro-copy makes a difference too: stressing that there is a team of experts – and not just experts, but EV experts specifically – is a signal to users that this website has credibility in the EV space and is well placed to help them in their purchasing journey.

Creating these trust signals throughout the user journey is vital, and an excellent way of communicating not just the website’s own expertise in the area, but also creating confidence among users that they are in the right place to get help and, potentially, convert.

  1. Motivating users to make decisions 

If the last two points were more focused on how to address concerns and worries consumers may have, the last point is more about focusing on the positives.

There is a reason, or several reasons, motivating people to consider an EV, and websites need to directly appeal to these more positive forces in the user experience too. We saw how a lot of similar messaging is used to sell the benefits of leasing EV cars specifically, but understanding your audience’s main motivations and targeting those particular reasons is going to have a strong impact in appealing to customers.

As an example, the main electric car page on Select Car Leasing (our client) handily lists out some of the main benefits of EVs – the financial savings, leasing green, and driving the latest technology.

But, understanding which of these factors has the greatest appeal to consumers is key – and these selling points can be played up across the user journey.

This is also where, again, sharing the benefits in a real-world context is useful: for example, if consumers are attracted by the prospect of reduced running costs, can a vehicle page show the average monthly saving if going with the electric versus petrol model of a particular car?

Or, if the environmentally friendly aspect of EVs is a motivating force, is there a way you can communicate emissions data in a way that helps consumers understand how ‘eco’ of a choice they are making? All of this can be extremely powerful in convincing a user to make the switch to Electric.

And there you have it: EV is obviously a complex and new topic for a lot of drivers, but an exceptional user experience will look to minimise the concerns and hesitations a consumer has, whilst maximising the pull of those positive, motivating forces for going electric.

The key thing is having a deep understanding of your audiences’ feelings, influences, and pain points around EV, which is where UX research like interviews and surveys – as well as constant experimentation and testing of new ideas – will get your EV offering to better resonate with your customers and targets.

Is your UX ready to take consumers on the journey to choosing electric?

To find out more about how we have helped our clients with their EV strategy, or how we can help you get closer to customers and improve your onsite UX, please get in touch.

Ready to connect?

Please submit your details and as much information as you can about what you would like to discuss:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

required information