In a roundtable discussion, Ian Plummer, commercial director at U.K.-based AutoTrader; Ricardo Oliveira, founder and CEO of Portugal-based World Shopper; and Marcin Stepman, strategic business developer for mobility at Norway-based Schibsted, discussed how growing sales of electric vehicles (EVs) were impacting auto marketplaces.

According to Plummer, marketplaces could help to smooth the EV transition by educating both dealers and potential buyers. He said “Dealers fear the unknown and see it [EVs] as disruptive.”

He added that “EV buyers were generally older and wealthier than average and less price conscious [than purchasers of ICE — internal combustion engine — vehicles].”

However, he added that “The mass market, price-conscious buyer isn’t there yet.”

He noted a shift from German premium/aspirational products to cars like the Hyundai Ioniq6 etc. and that this was an opportunity for brands like Hyundai and Kia to shift the perception of their brands.”

According to Plummer, getting data on battery degradation from manufacturers remained a key challenge. He said that he told them that if they didn’t share it: “We’ll have a blank on your page and data on someone else’s.” Plummer asserted that battery degradation was supposed to be 2% a year but in reality was far less.

Stepman said that the supply of used EVs was growing rapidly in Norway and Sweden, with particularly strong demand for the likes of the Renault Zoe as a second car. He stressed that it was important to be able directly compare EVs with ICE vehicles on marketplaces.

Oliveira was bullish on the prospects for electric cars. He said it was not necessary to ban sales of ICE vehicles by 2035 (as the EU has done) because EVs would eclipse them before that. “Incentives are nice to have, but consumers are not waiting for them,” he added. He also stressed the role that marketplaces could play in educating customers on EVs.

Oliveira further noted that EV buyers were not as focused on price as buyers of ICE vehicles. He added that buyers of EVs exhibited less brand loyalty and that there represented an opportunity for Chinese brands.

Oliveira, Plummer and Stepman were speaking at AIMGroup’s AutosBuzz 2023 conference in Lisbon, Portugal.



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