Modelling the UK battery electric vehicle market

Modelling the UK battery electric vehicle market

My 2020 paper on Nissan’s woes included an analysis of the “Battery Electric Vehicles” available in the UK. The analysis appeared as a single image showing how different vehicles were positioned relative to one another. As this is something I’m asked to do from time to time, I’m sharing a quick overview of how I went about it.

First I went through the website of every major car company with a UK presence, identifying their EV options and quickly reading through what was available. My focus was on vehicles that could be ordered or pre-ordered, not future concepts or proposed models that had yet to have pricing information. This caught over 30 different models, from electrified versions of mainstream cars (such as the MINI and Up!) to purpose built vehicles such as Tesla and the ubiquitous Nissan LEAF. At this stage my aim was to get a sense of what was on offer rather than pull out specific data.

Next came research into what consumers wanted from their battery electric vehicles. This gave me an idea as to what mattered more or less in purchasing decisions. Price, range, recharge times and driver aids came out as recurring themes. I decided to model this as a Price vs Utility. Price was the mean between base and top-specification model prices, utility was a weighting between range, recharge and standard options such as cruise control, speed limiter and vehicle autonomy. There was a heavier weighting towards range.

Having created a Microsoft Form to capture data, I returned to the manufacturer sites and started collating information. This was the legwork of the research and took place over two days.

Once completed, the data was fed into a spreadsheet model that created the X and Y co-ordinates for the final chart. This was created using Affinity Designer.

Naming each vehicle made the chart messy. I decided to high-light specific models that had a stronger profile or reputation. Given my aim was to present a comparison of Nissan LEAF against its competitors, it was given “star billing” with a more distinctive icon. I also decided against an idea to cast each marker a different size to denote range or charging times. Again, this made the chart confusing.

The most bizarre part of this research was the position of Nissan LEAF: it ended up almost dead centre in the chart. This wasn’t intentional, and I rechecked data before accepting it was just what happened.

More BEVs are due to come to market later in 2020 and early 2021. I may repeat the exercise and add it to my ongoing monitoring of who owns what British car manufacturer.

About Ross A Hall

A business researcher and writer, I help companies find new markets, form strategies and build successful businesses.

Find out more about my work.

  • linkedin