How Electric Vehicles Can Drive Results with NPR

June 2023
woman charging an electric vehicle

It’s no secret that NPR reaches an environmentally-conscious audience, so it’s not surprising that they are more likely to take an interest in alternative fuel vehicles. Electric vehicles (EV) are on the rise in the United States and more auto brands are joining the trend with automakers like Chevrolet, Ford and Kia transforming consumer favorite models into futuristic yet efficient vehicles.

Good news for auto brands: NPR listeners are 20% more likely to agree that “I buy vehicles that reflect my commitment to support the environment.” And many have already switched over – listeners are 67% more likely to own a hybrid vehicle, and 65% more likely to own an electric one – and they are 11% more likely to say that their next car will be more eco-friendly.²

Impact for Brands

As automakers are making EVs more accessible to drive, a variety of brands are successfully using the NPR platform to educate curious buyers. Some brands highlighted the physical design and features of the vehicles while others took an educational approach. 

Specifically, two EV brands that recently sponsored NPR ran brand lift studies while helping drivers learn more. One brand made strong gains with increased exposure after hearing the sponsor message. 6-in-10 exposed listeners agreed that this brand “Is working to facilitate the adoption of electric and hybrid cars.” The second sponsor saw strong favorability among NPR listeners and interest in learning grew with increased exposure. 64% of total exposed listeners said they are interested in learning more about the brand (+26% lift).³ Other recent sponsors saw similar results from their campaigns:

Among NPR Listeners:


 lift in brand awareness for a plug-in hybrid EV SUV


increase in first-choice consideration for a compact EV SUV


lift in brand awareness among EV intenders for an EV Sports Car

Creative Messaging Best Practices

To help auto brands develop messages that resonate most effectively with NPR listeners, NPR worked with Veritonic to conduct a test evaluating a variety of copy approaches for electric vehicle sponsorship messages. The test incorporated four different message themes: latest technology, ease of adoption, sustainability, and luxury/style. It also included three different formats: 15, 30, and 60-second spots. To minimize bias based on brand name, messaging was repeated with three different brand names and most copy versions referred to the brand’s full line of EVs rather than highlighting specific models.

Top takeaways:

The NPR audience is enthusiastic about electric vehicles. All messages resonated well among NPR listeners, scoring above auto industry benchmarks.

The biggest barriers to EV adoption are concern about ease of use – charging and range – and price. Those interested in owning an EV responded positively to copy that addressed availability of charging stations, various vehicle types, and affordability.

Exciting new technology is also a motivating theme, especially for those who already own an EV. Current EV owners are most concerned about reliability and performance. Hearing about the latest technology was ranked highly regardless of current ownership status.

Addressing these top concerns is the most effective in driving purchase intent. The greatest lift in listeners’ intent to purchase came after hearing spots focused on ease of adoption and the latest technology.

Specific copy points in the top messages drove strong responses for being relevant, innovative, unique. Copy points which drove strong audience responses included mention of accessibility to various vehicle types, availability of charging stations, and specific vehicle features.

Download the Study

Example in Action: Messaging that Makes an Impact

NPR sponsors can utilize Veritonic before and during their campaigns to test their creative’s effectiveness for insights and optimizations. For one recent NPR sponsor, the NPM Creative team produced custom audio creative highlighting the impact of the auto brand’s innovative vehicles and using unscripted conversations to engage the audience. 

When tested in Veritonic, this brand’s audio creative averaged a +9 lift in intent to purchase – well above the +6 benchmark for the automotive category. 61% of EV intenders had a favorable opinion of the brand, and 59% said they are likely or extremely likely to consider the brand. 

A custom Brand Soundscape creative message was particularly effective: scores for “relevant to me” were 10 points above benchmark, and “Innovative” and “Trustworthy” each scored 5 points above benchmark.

Interested in strengthening your customer’s purchase intent through NPR sponsorship?

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  1. S&P Global Mobility – Stephanie Brinley, “EV chargers: How many do we need?” January 9, 2023.
  2. MRI-Simmons 2022 Spring Doublebase and August Podcast Study. 
  3. NPR Listener Surveys December 2022 
  4. NPR Listens , NPR sponsorship studies 2019-2022
  5. Veritonic Creative Testing 

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