Green Europe on the Move: eMobility Visuals

Trends / Sustainability
Sandra Michalska
Jul 21, 2021
The pandemic's interruption of our everyday lives made us reflect on how we get from point A to B. When the crisis hindered most kinds of mobility, European consumers' growing awareness of the negative effects of long‑distance travel and congested roads caused them to think about more sustainable options. Our Visual GPS research found that half of Europeans think that one of the best ways to positively impact the planet is to make transportation choices that reduce gasoline or fossil fuels. Unsurprisingly, with the Covid lockdowns, only 3 in 10 report using public transport, riding a bicycle, walking or driving an electric vehicle. This presents an opportunity for brands to fill this conversion gap by selecting visuals that encourage adoption of green transportation.
The context couldn’t be more favourable. While COVID‑19 has hit vehicle markets around the continent, interestingly, electric vehicle sales have grown strongly, mostly due to purchase incentives from European governments that have used the pandemic to invest in the promising technologies that will drive economic growth. Similar efforts can be seen at a local scale. For instance, the city of Paris bets on micro‑mobility as a part of its "15‑Minute City" concept, whereas Vienna rewards its residents with cultural tokens for privileging public transport. Now that the eyes of consumers and policymakers are on green transportation, getting eMobility visuals right can help you showcase your collaborative transition to a net‑zero society and inspire trust around your brands' sustainability strategy.
The rise of real‑life usage stories
In the last 12 months, Getty Images' European customer searches for eMobility visuals such as 'eBike,' 'electric vehicle,' 'eAuto' or 'electric scooter' significantly increased. Customer preference shifted from using purely conceptual eMobility representations to showing real‑life use. Five years ago, close‑ups of electric vehicle charging ports or futuristic CGI visuals were preferred, whereas today human‑centered stories of real people charging cars outsides sustainable homes dominate. However, there is still much to be done to improve the visual language around eMobility, especially around its accessibility. Many best‑selling visuals featuring electric charging stations tend to be placed in high‑end lifestyles, in front of big houses, instead of highlighting public infrastructure and access to all in a shared economy.
From EV incentives to micro‑mobility, with the right visuals, brands can depict differentiated scenarios that will resonate with all parties interested in accelerating the sustainable transition towards greener mobility in Europe: policymakers, investors and final consumers. We put together some actionable tips to help you find the best imagery:

Be purposeful
Show how eMobility is positively bringing solutions and impacting consumers' responsible consumption at different scales: individually, locally and globally. Show the emotional rewards of eMobility adoption fitting into daily lives.

Focus on accessibility
Choose visuals that show eMobility that is accessible for all communities. Remember that fostering mass adoption starts at the individual level. Move away from exclusivity and think about showing benefits for real people, from all socio‑economic backgrounds.
Be inclusive
Always remember to represent individuals of all intersecting identity factors: age, race and ethnicity, disability and body type. Data gathered from our Visual GPS study shows that the top visual preference that drives Europeans' purchasing decisions is, "seeing people like me and my life," so inclusive visuals are crucial to encouraging the adoption of green transportation.
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