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The electric car market has undergone a remarkable evolution in recent years, transforming from niche to truly mainstream. To paint that picture, in 2016 worldwide sales of Electric Vehicles[1], were less than a million, while in 2022 that figure had rocketed to over 10m[2]. To put that in context, in the first half of 2023 53% of all new cars sold in the UK were electric.

At The GoodNet, we see this shift clearly in the number of brands, including Kia, Mazda and Renault, looking to market their products through us, and in the great content created on the subject by ethical media publishers.

In this short blog we will look at some of the key trends and issues around EVs:

Our main takeaways

  1. While it’s not as clear cut as electric vehicles = good for the environment, they are on balance a better option than internal combustion, and a tangible step in the right direction.
  2. Concern for the environment is a key motivator for people to buy EVs, alongside factors like cheaper running costs.[3]
  3. There is a huge amount of content to be found on the subject, covering everything from product reviews to consumer advice.

Do EVs benefit the environment?[4]

Let’s be honest, this is a tricky subject, because ‘benefitting the environment’ can encompass so many different things.

Looked at through the lens of tailpipe emissions, the picture is clear. Hybrid cars produce fewer emissions than petrol and diesel cars, while battery EVs emit nothing at all. The result? Better air quality and fewer greenhouse gasses.

On the other hand, the electricity used to power these cars can often come from non-renewable sources, and there are high emissions involved in the manufacturing of batteries themselves, (as well as separate issues to do with the mining of raw materials and the disposal of old stock).

Yet despite these trade-offs, the lifetime emissions of a battery EV are currently around 30% lower than a combustion engine vehicle, and this is only set to improve with the decarbonisation of the electricity sector and advancements in the sustainability of battery production itself.

So, on balance, EVs are a meaningful step in the right direction.

Which brands are leading the way?

It won’t be a surprise that Tesla continues to lead the market, although six of the top ten best-selling models in the first part of 2023 were sold by Chinese manufacturer BYD.[5] More broadly, the market is split into established brand with EV models, and new EV-only entrants.

  1. Established brands include:
    1. Nissan: The Nissan Leaf was one of the first mass-market EVs and continues to stand for affordability and practicality.
    2. VW: The ID.4 was the best-selling EV in the world in Jan 2023 outside the Tesla / BYD duopoly.
    3. Kia: Kia not only promote a strong range of EVs, they also have a long-term partnership to fund the charity Ocean Cleanup, as part of their broader sustainability objectives.
  2. EV only entrants:
    1. Polestar: Whilst a subsidiary of Volvo, Polestar’s sharp marketing and product design has positioned them as a leader in the premium EV space.
    2. Tesla: Again. Obviously.

In general, we don’t see EV advertising focusing overtly on the environmental benefits. In fact, these campaigns often look and feel like more traditional automotive ads. Despite this, consumer behaviour is influence to a by environmental concerns, which presents an opportunity to the market.

What ethical media will tell me more?

There’s a wealth of info out there, from sites like CleanTechnia serving up the facts and figures on the market, to Green Matters giving honest advice about how to avoid some of the pitfalls of EV ownership, to Inside EVs giving fantastic product reviews.

Through working with The GoodNet, brands can reach an audience of ethical consumers who are 3x more likely than average to be interested electric and hybrid cars.

[1] Including Battery Electric and Hybrid vehicles

[2] Statista Market Insights

[3] YouGov 2020


[5] Cleantechnica, Jan 2023