Electric cars are far from the future – they are part of now, as manufacturers and legislators take note. With the release of Ebiquity’s Green Auto report, Head of Communications Insight Martin Broad explores some of the insights surrounding one of the most important developments in automotive history.

Volvo Cars' T8 Twin Engine Range (Image source: Volvo)

On July 5th 2017, Swedish automotive manufacturer Volvo made one of the biggest announcements in its almost-100-year history. The brand announced that, by 2019, it would no longer produce cars that used combustion and fossil fuels as their sole means of power and that, in the future, every car it produces will be either completely or partially powered by electricity.

Over the last few months, a series of similar announcements have placed the automotive industry on a new trajectory. Pledges from manufacturers around the world to cut production of traditional cars mean the sector will be unrecognisable in 50 years.

The latest Ebiquity Insight Report looks at the world of what we have dubbed Green Auto, not just from a sales perspective but from the communications commitment seen from the industry.

We’ve monitored sector-wide increases in Green Auto ATL spend, analysed the dominant messaging strategies used in Green Auto communications, picked out key innovations from big manufacturers and highlighted how auto brands have been promoting Green Auto models without cannibalising petrol and diesel sales.

What’s emerged is that support of Green Auto has been growing steadily in the last few years. From a handful of players owning the space 5+ years ago, the Green Auto landscape is now more diverse and enjoys more heavyweight support than ever before. What’s equally clear is that, given various emissions mandates from governments worldwide, manufacturers’ focus on Green Auto is set to explode over the coming years.

Good news for the environmental movement indeed – though the eco benefits of electric vehicles are just the beginning. The migration of manufacturers from combustion to electric models is not done purely from an environmentally-responsible standpoint – rather, it is born of a realisation that a step-change to the traditional auto model can bring financial benefits of its own. To quote a phrase from this report; “the whole proposition is not about being an eco-proposition – but being an economic proposition”. The forces driving the shift to Green Auto include:

  • Governmental mandates, which will drive eco production
  • Car manufacturers competing to achieve market-leader status in the sector
  • Improvements to technology and infrastructure

For more detailed analysis of the challenges and opportunities for Green Auto, read the full report on WARC.