Insight: How do you launch an electric car in a petrol market?


Most car brands have been around for more than 50 years and are American, European or Japanese/Korean: Ford. General Motors. Audi. Volkswagen. Honda. Mitsubishi – they are all big, dominant global businesses. My brief was to launch an affordable new car brand from India in the UK. In fact it was to launch a small electric car that doesn’t go very far or very fast, in a market where electric cars are just 1% of sales, and most are for luxury/performance brands. Here’s how I did it: by finding the people – families mostly – that are concerned about the environment, live in large conurbations and are looking for a second car that is economical and reliable; have a drive or garage where they can charge their electric car at home overnight; are early adopters of new technology, and heavy users of the internet and apps; by selling to them online instead of through dealer showrooms, letting them book a test drive, select and order a car, and check the delivery status, all online from the comfort of their home or office; by providing customer consultants as product experts available on the telephone to inform and assist 7 days a week; by servicing customers’ car at home or at work, so not only do they never again have to visit a petrol station, they never have to visit a service centre either; by positioning the company as a Champion of air quality in cities and the product as The ElectriCity Car, the first car designed for cities that is optimised for price and city performance, that you can buy for the same price as a diesel car but which costs less than £10 per month in fuel to run. . See also the Recent Work section.