Twitter leads the charge toward electric vehicle adoption


Here’s why automotive brands are turning to Twitter to rise above the current.

The world is buzzing about electric vehicles. With new EVs coming to market left and right from big-name manufacturers, it’s no wonder 2021 feels like the beginning of a truly electric era. But for many auto shoppers, the idea of switching from gas-powered cars to battery-powered electric vehicles remains pretty unsettling. After all, they’re being asked to come along for a wild ride as automakers and governments reimagine what automobility is!

Mainstream EV adoption won't happen overnight. It’ll require a large cultural conversation to convince skittish first-timers to take a leap of faith with this new technology. Fortunately, automakers can fuel that dialogue where excitement for EVs is already taking off: on Twitter.

Twitter has a community of EV enthusiasts, and first adopters are coming together to talk about the latest in the EV marketplace. In fact, people surveyed on Twitter are twice as likely to Tweet about EVs than those who are using other social channels. Those conversations are setting the stage for the next wave of vehicle owners. People surveyed on Twitter are 90% more likely than people who aren’t on Twitter to say they’ll own an EV in the next two years.1

From niche to known

While EVs are certainly making headlines, the marketplace is still young and only makes up a small fraction of in-market consumer interest. However, it’s a different story on Twitter. Early adopters are not only driving the conversation on Twitter — they’re making EVs more attractive to mainstream audiences. In fact, 60% of people surveyed on Twitter say that they’ve seen EV Tweets, and over half surveyed report that seeing more Tweets about EVs in their feeds is making it easier to picture themselves in one.2

From what we’ve seen, though, the majority of people on Twitter didn’t need much convincing; a large portion of them are already primed for EV adoption. Our research shows that three in four surveyed see EVs as the future.3 It just goes to show that all it takes is a conversation to turn the tides (or at the very least, people’s preconceptions).

Where brands can lead the charge

Curiously, the same survey also showed that while there’s plenty of energy for EVs on Twitter, there’s less awareness of the brands that actually offer an electric vehicle. That’s why relative newcomers to the category, like GM, are leaning into Twitter’s EV enthusiasts to stir up conversation — whether by revealing new EVs in virtual events on the platform or by finding new ways to generate on-platform excitement. 

For inspiration, GM came to the conversation in a bold way this past February, and they didn't even have a car to talk about. Their celebrity-studded campaign was so successful that it spurred a nearly 200% lift in the amount of people talking about EVs on Twitter.4

You might be thinking this is just an instance of lightning in a bottle. Fair enough. But while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, there are things automakers can do if they want to connect with early EV adopters:

1. Just jump in: The EV conversation is one that you can already begin to shape, and it’s one where you can already drive impactful brand metrics, even if you don’t yet have an electric vehicle in-market.

2. Surround the conversation: Twitter Amplify — which gives brands the ability to run pre-roll video across content from premium publishers — offers brands specific opportunities to connect to EV-related conversations across category-specific channels and content.

3. Stir the pot with creative content: Now’s the time for EV brands to find their unique voices in a new arena.

So, for automakers looking to generate excitement and consideration for new models of EVs, just remember: There’s no better place to do it than Twitter.

Guy Schueller (@guyschueller) is a Detroit native and has spent his career at the intersection of the automotive and digital media industries. He came to Twitter from Google where, for more than six years, he co-led sales and operations within the US automotive vertical, focusing on GM, FCA, and Ford. Before that he spent more than a decade at advertising agencies, leading automotive-focused media and digital teams at both Publicis and McCann.


1. Twitter Twitter Insiders US, Electric Vehicles & Social Media, March 2021. Base: Twitter Users, n=587, Non-Twitter Users who use other social media, n=534 Q2. When do you think the following events will happen?

2. Source: Twitter Insiders US, Electric Vehicles & Social Media, March 2021. Base: Twitter Users, n=587, Non-Twitter Users who use other social media, n=534 Q10. And is that amount of Tweets you see about electric vehicles more, the same, or less now than compared to a year ago?
3. Source: YouGov, April 2021, In-Market Twitter Users

4. Source: Twitter Internal Data. Comparing Tweet volume from March 1st, 2019 - March 1st, 2020 to  March 1st, 2020 - March 1st, 2021 .  US Only. Data retrieved March 2021.

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