Talks with home energy providers signal a future of electric vehicles bundled with home energy tariffs and more, says Autovia

Talks with home energy providers signal a future of electric vehicles bundled with home energy tariffs and more, says Autovia

Posted 08 October, 2021 at 11:30

Author Mark Bradshaw on behalf of (IFM) Independent Forecourt Magazine


'EVs aren't just about transport - they're a gateway to the fully electric home'

BEHIND-THE-SCENES-DISCUSSIONS reveal that home energy providers are gearing up to drive faster electric vehicle adoption as part of their strategic push toward 'net zero' carbon for Britain.

That's the view of leading advertising and car buying demand generation platform, Autovia, which has revealed that it is in talks with four of Britain's leading home energy providers to connect them with EV buyers.

Autovia believes that by focusing attention mostly around EV charging infrastructure on roads, popular media commentary often misses the bigger picture. But, as the company's discussions with major home energy players are revealing, EV adoption is a major strategic plank in winning the domestic electric tariffs competition and ultimately creating battery-powered homes.

Energy providers have approached Autovia because its motoring information brands - such as Auto Express, DrivingElectric, Carbuyer and even its online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk - are a hub for millions of 'EV-curious' car buyers.

They want to be connected with those potential customers, along with hundreds of thousands who already own an EV, and better understand them via thousands of detailed profiles contained in Autovia's Customer Data Platform (CDP).

Autovia says that the day is fast approaching when electric cars and home energy provision will become a bundled package as familiar to consumers as a smartphone and data plan is today.

Data from across Autovia's content platforms and CDP reveal massive building momentum for EV adoption. Articles about electric cars and guides to currently available EVs are taking a rapidly increasing share of the company's overall traffic of almost 100 million annual visitors and more than 250 million page views.

Even on BuyaCar.co.uk, which sells used cars only, the percentage share of searches for electric cars was 56% higher in September than during the same month last year.

Autovia also predicts the future widespread availability of 'white label' EVs, branded with the names of energy suppliers rather than car makers, as the electrification of motoring gathers pace.

Andy Oldham, Chief Executive of Autovia, said: "No one should underestimate the pace of change in our EV market and not just in terms of how many vehicles are being sold.

"What is now underway is a transformation of the market with some of the biggest names - never previously associated with cars - seeing an opportunity to win customers who will help them achieve a more sustainable business model.

"Only this week the SMMT revealed that September's EV sales were the only bright spot in the worst new car month since 1998 and every one of those 32,721 EV buyers has a home that energy companies want to supply.

"For them, identifying tomorrow's EV buyers is now a key strategic plank in their future business model, especially since the recent gas price disruptions that saw a number of smaller energy providers go to the wall."

For energy companies the pressure is mounting to meet carbon reductions to 'net zero' and end reliance on fossil fuels. One ultimate goal is the battery-powered home and EVs are increasingly seen as a gateway to that ambition, says Autovia.

Oldham also notes that these developments confirm predictions in a 2019 KPMG report* that a wide range of energy-related services, including power tariffs as well as charging infrastructure, solar energy devices, insurance and finance packages will be bundled at the EV point of sale.

KPMG argues that such bundled finance products will offset the high initial purchase costs of EVs for ordinary motorists, describing the electrified future as ‘a revolution for motor financing.’

Andy Oldham said: "We will also see car choices influenced by different electricity tariffs in a way we never saw with brand choices of petrol or diesel, which opens the way to brand new ownership packages for electric vehicles.

"Our conversations with energy suppliers who want to be connected with EV adopters seem to be heralding a more complete transformation of the car market than most commentators predict and we are very excited to be part of it."

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