I have been involved in the sales and marketing of electric vehicles since 2004, with the UK launch of the G-Wiz electric vehicle. Guess what the test drive: sales conversion rate averaged? Significantly better than 1 in 2, a figure that includes the many EV 'tourists' (the merely curious who have no intention of purchasing).
There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, the majority of prospects have done their research before they take a test drive. They have probably already decided what they can afford and what they like the look of. Most of all though, they really would like to buy an EV.
Secondly, driving an EV is easy and it's fun - and it feels better than driving a conventional car. This is not something that is widely known, and cannot by its very nature be appreciated in advance. Sure, there will be some post purchase rationalising done based on the low cost of operations and the amount of CO2 saved. But it's just so damn cool to drive an EV!
This is as true for Mitsubishi and Nissan as it is for Tesla and Lightning. Yes the marketing is important, the financial case needs to be made, the product needs to be presented well, but in the end it's the EV driving experience that will convert prospects into customers in the personal transport segment. Even if supply is limited initially it will be important to spread the feeling as well as the word. And that's why EVs are so much more than a plug in hybrid, which is not really an EV at all.