TORONTO March 25, 2024 — Reports have suggested that while EV sales are strong, they are still falling short of manufacturers’ expectations as consumers continue to worry about battery range, lack of charging infrastructure, and total cost of ownership. While U.S. sales grew in 2023 (47% from 2022), percentage growth is predicted to be lower at 32% from 2023 to 2024. The same is true at the global level, where sales are only expected to grow at 26% in 2024, compared to 35% in 2023. 

Is the decline in sales a result of successfully appealing to early adopters—a momentum that is, now, losing power? Or are we in the midst of needing to persuade the more resistant wave of potential EV consumers? How can automotive brands ensure continued growth protecting the investment made into EV in the first place?

According to Bond Brand Loyalty, a leading global customer engagement and loyalty management firm, the answers lie in connecting to consumers during the moments that matter. Today, Bond announced select results from its Electric Vehicle (EV) Ownership Xperience study—research that polled 4,000+ consumers and examined more than 10 EV brands across over 100 consumer journey touchpoints.

Bond found that the moments most influencing behavior take place in face-to-face personal interactions between automotive personnel and the consumer. Human elements, like being greeted in a personal way that prioritizes hospitality and understanding, are foundational for meaningful individual connection. Similarly, receiving follow-up communications that reflect a relationship which has grown over time has a more profound influence on customer satisfaction than the functional elements of discussing trade-in, service, and warranty options.

The study focuses on the ownership journey and how to better understand the barriers ahead for EV brands. It analyzes key moments in the customer journey—from awareness to purchase to ownership to renewal—, revealing the impactful factors on customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and advocacy. Bond compared the performance of various manufacturers at these pivotal moments, identifying strengths contributing to success, and providing valuable insights for informed decision-making.

“The study was designed to help brands foster enduring relationships with consumers in the evolving landscape of EV purchasing and ownership,” said Sean Claessen, Chief Strategy Officer, Bond. “What we discovered was that despite the revolutionary high-technology being built in EV, when it comes down to the customer journey, what matters most is the human connection, the knowledge and ability to fill in the gaps on what a consumer cannot do independently.”

The comprehensive study also examines which factors influence EV brand loyalty, and how they differ by age. Relative to other generations, young consumers (18-24)—to no surprise—were more influenced by online reviews/social media, family, and friends, and less influenced by vehicle features, performance, and technology. Customers with young children were more influenced by traditional advertising communication from the dealership and company.

There were several key outcomes from the study on specific EV brands, competitors, and where they scored the highest with consumers. These include:

  • Toyota led in satisfaction of intenders (those who are actively planning to purchase an EV) by providing accessible test drives and empathetic brand representatives during the purchasing journey.
  • Tesla led in owner satisfaction because of its best-in-class charging experience, seamless OTA updates, and customer-centric purchasing journey (both in-store and online).
  • Audi owners expressed the strongest sentiment that their OEM “takes care of them” by providing the most influential human-to-human interactions.
  • Toyota and Audi outperform the industry across all on-boarding journey touchpoints and ranked consistently high across all key performance indicators.
  • BMW has engineered the best experience for EV owners in terms of communications and milestone moments, specifically with its My BMW App.

If you are interested in learning more about the research, please contact

Bond generates growth for clients by going beyond relationships—building unbreakable bonds between people and brands—based on intelligent connections and engaging experiences. Guided by Loyalty Science from advanced research and practical commercial application through the Bond Behavioral Institute and enabled by technology through its proprietary cloud Synapze platform, Bond serves clients globally with customer experience, engagement and loyalty solutions—enabling brands, customers, employees, partners, and the communities they serve to experience the benefits of growth. Headquartered in Toronto, Bond has more than 800 people and eight offices across North America and Europe. For more information, visit us at or follow us on LinkedInTwitter, and Instagram

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