By Nicole Schantz
VP of OEM & Strategic Partnerships, Trader Interactive
In recent years, the boating industry has seen a rise in the availability of electric models. To gain insight into how consumers feel about electric boats, Boatline conducted a survey to our engaged audience of marine enthusiasts. Overwhelmingly, consumers are curious about what an electric boating future looks like. As we are seeing across automotive and recreational vehicle realms, consumers at this point in time are eager to learn more about the potential benefits that electric boats can offer.
Addressing consumer opposition to electric boats
The marine industry poses the most obvious obstacle to electric adoption: traditionally water and electricity don’t mix! Feedback overwhelmingly showed that boaters need more education around how electric boats operate. Boaters surveyed mentioned they were concerned by all-electric boats due to the potential for electrical issues, which are less common on gas-powered boats. While electric issues aren’t as common on gas boats, what every boater will understand is the maintenance and costs that come with a gas powered boat. Electric boats are more cost effective to maintain and upkeep and relaying that message to consumers is crucial in selling more electric boats.
Marine consumers also expressed concern about electric boat range, the same concern seen by automotive dealers. While most electric boats have ranges that are well over an average boater’s daily mileage; manufacturers are providing detailed information about the performance and range capabilities of their electric boats. Ensuring that electric boat listings include ranges will help to secure consumers who are considering electric.
Growing the electric market through education
While consumers surveyed expressed hesitation on purchasing an electric boat, we have seen increased time spent reading content on the Boatline Blog that talks about electric boating. Pointing to the fact that consumers are curious! Electric-themed content on Boatline has captured our audiences’ attention for 12.5% longer than the average article. We’ve also noted that consumers stay on our site for 109% longer than the average article when viewing content speaking to the benefits of EVs.
This curiosity can be addressed in your own dealership, by making sure you and your sales team are knowledgeable around the benefits of electric vehicles. The way to gain more consumer adoption is through education relative to all of the benefits and options available. In our survey, we found that most consumers are interested in power and charging, with one user responding, “knowing what type of back-up generator options were available would make me more open to an electric boat.”
If you are planning to sell electric units in your dealership, it’s essential to incorporate education into your strategy. By becoming a go-to source for information on electric units, you can build trust among your customers. If you’re a dealer who sells, or plans to sell, electric boats, it’s important to educate your consumers of the benefits and the options available. Keep the above survey results in mind when having conversations with your buyers, so your dealership can support the growing interest in electric over the next few years. For more insights and ways to engage electric boat buyers, reach out to us at Boatline to electrify your digital marketing strategies.