EV Brands Aren't Winning Customer Trust
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EV Brands Aren’t Winning Trust

Toyota Dealership, via Toyota

Early adopters seem to love online ordering, but as EVs become mainstream, the EV buyer starts to look more like the mainstream buyer.

Despite their enticing offerings for e-mobility fans and people who want to avoid the hassle of going to a dealership, startup EV brands like Rivian, Polestar, Tesla, and Lucid are still not connecting very well with prospective customers, according to a study that measures consumer trust.

Pied Piper Consulting recently published its 2022 Prospect Satisfaction Index, which measured 25 auto brands’ level of “effectiveness” through each brand’s customer path through the funnel, from the brand’s website, to the individual dealer/showroom website, and to the dealership or showroom in person. Traditional luxury brands Cadillac, INFINITI, and Mercedes-Benz – that all sell predominantly gas-powered vehicles – took the top three slots.


Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction (Trust) Rankings


In descending order, the study placed Tesla at 21st, with Lucid at 23rd, Polestar at 24th, and Rivian last at 25th. This is the first time that the study included the last three, and all four brands do forgo the typical franchised dealership model.

While plenty of car shoppers strongly dislike (or don’t trust) the dealership experience, this study still ended up knocking down these EV brands for not offering a consistent sale process across different showroom locations. In the case of Rivian, the sales process was only by phone, as the company had not yet opened any showrooms when the study was performed.

And– sure, Tesla beats the rest of the EV brands here in the trust metric. But not by much. Some may envision it as a rival for these luxury brands because of its pricing, market share, and customer demographics, but this study shows that it’s still clearly not on that level in terms of customer service. The brand just simply does not appear to offer the levels of support that customers want, either in-person or online.

Maybe this will start to shift as more brands embrace electrification and more dealerships gain experience in selling EVs, but only time will tell.





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