With growing consumer interest in electric vehicles, along with an increase in dealer supply and sales expected to hit the million mark this year, there's never been a better time to advertise EV brands on radio, according to Westwood One's weekly blog.
An analysis of a MARU/Matchbox study of 600 car buyers in Dallas-Ft. Worth, conducted in March and April of this year, suggests that heavy listeners of AM/FM radio or podcasts show a far greater likelihood of buying or leasing an EV – 53% greater, for AM/FM – compared to heavy TV viewers or the sample as a whole. In a sample made up of those who either recently purchased or are in the market in the coming year, while 15% of auto buyers say they're very or somewhat likely to buy or lease one, that number moves up to 23% for AM/FM radio listeners and 27% for podcast listeners.
“If you want to build an EV brand, radio and podcasts should be at the centerpiece of any tier-one media plan,” Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says, “since audio consumers are just so much more interested and in the market for [electric] vehicles.”
Likewise, Nielsen Scarborough's data shows that AM/FM radio reaches nine in ten auto intenders in Dallas-Ft. Worth (89%), vs. 79% of past-week TV viewers, giving AM/FM a 13% edge over TV. “Not only are radio listeners more likely to be in market for a new vehicle, but you're going to reach a lot more of them on AM/FM radio,” Bouvard says.
The high level of interest in and intent to purchase electric vehicles among radio listeners couldn't be happening at a more perfect time. According to Cox Automotive, not only are more consumers considering a new or used EV – up from 38% in 2021 to 51% in 2022 – they're also more likely to accept EVs as the wave of the future, with more than half (53%) feeling they'll eventually replace gas engines, vs. 31% of auto dealers feeling that way.
From the manufacturer and dealer side, things are also looking up for EVs, with more than 30 new brands set to launch this year, and more than 50 in 2024. As their share of total vehicle sales has increased from 5.2% last year to 6.5% in 2023, Cox projects that U.S. EV sales will pass one million units for the first time this year. Contributing to that lift is a surge in dealer EV supply, with new EV inventory during second-quarter 2022 up 4.7 times what it was in Q2 2022.