Will Interest in Electric Cars Translate into Intent to Own Them?

Electric cars — By on July 13, 2011 at 6:23 am
chevrolet volt Will Interest in Electric Cars Translate into Intent to Own Them?

Chevy Volt has a lot of consumers interested in the electric car

Recent polls and surveys show that Americans are quite interested in electric cars.  But, will they actually take the step to purchase and drive them?  At least one writer believes that consumer expectations are too high when it comes to EVs and that the battery-powered cars will not be able to deliver in the end.  Disappointments may come in the form of limited range and the expense and time to charge them.

One thing that is quite certain is that the onslaught of new electric cars hitting the market, or at least the concept car showrooms has peaked curiosity.  Consumers cannot help but be interested in EVs with new commercials like this one from Nissan Leaf:

A recent survey from Deloitte and Touche showed: “78 percent of consumers in the U.S. would consider purchasing an electric vehicle when fuel prices reach $5 a gallon.”  Of course the more important question is whether they would actually purchase one, rather than merely “consider” doing so.  Many experts believe that the number of people that will actually buy or lease an electric car is considerably lower.

In other words, the market for electric vehicles is a niche, not mass, market.

Even those people that think they want to buy an electric car may change their minds when they read the “fine print.”  Range anxiety tops the list of reasons that consumers may decide to opt for a traditional vehicle.  Then there is the cost – not only because the technology for plug in electric hybrid vehicles is more expensive, but also for home-based rapid charging stations.

One of the biggest influences on future ownership of electric cars is whether the government will continue to offer incentives and tax rebates.  With the current state of the economy and the debt ceiling issue, that is probably in significant doubt.

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2 Comments

  1. Luis says:

    Well, besides the electric factor, there are other issues affecting car purchasing. Take car sharing for example, or now they even got car renting! Check this video of how people rent their cars; it’s not only reducing ownership costs, but also reducing driving times. Think it’s a worthy initiative? http://ecomobility.tv/2011/08/03/rent-car-to-neighbor/

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