Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Electric Cars: Why They Are Not Moving Customers

Electric Cars: Why They Are Not Moving Customers

On its surface, purchasing an electric car should be an easy and sensible decision for any car buyer.  Not surprisingly, you do not see truck and SUV drivers going out to purchase an electric car.  Most utility vehicles, gasoline or diesel, have the horse power and towing capacity required to attract their customer base.  However, when it comes to cars most car, you do not see large numbers of people driving 100% electric cars.  When you do see an eco-friendly model car, it is almost always a hybrid model.  From a purely business standpoint, unless the customer is intrinsically motivated to protect the environment, there is little reason for a traditional car owner to purchase one of these new electric vehicles.
Tony Hisgett
 The first reason the average car customer is not purchasing an electric vehicle is the styling.  All customers want to drive cars that are aesthetically appealing.  This is not to say that electric cars are completely unattractive.  However, almost all 100% electric cars are far too abstract or futuristic in design to appeal to the average car driver.  To attract more customers the automobile industry should introduce 100% electric versions of their already top selling models.  By selling popular models the car companies can leverage their existing infrastructure to convert traditional car drivers into electric car drivers.  This would be more effective and less expensive than designing, marketing, and testing a whole new electric car model.

The cost of purchasing and maintaining an electric car is another deterrent.  With more and more customers going through difficult time financially it is little wonder that they are choosing their pocketbooks before the environment.  This may seem cruel and short sighted, but for those who are in tough financial straits keeping food on the table is much more appealing than a new car.  The cost of maintenance on an electric vehicle is also more expensive in comparison to a traditional gasoline model.  Until the price of purchasing and maintaining an electric car goes down, customers will continue to choose traditional models in large numbers.

Ludovic Hirlimann
The greatest obstacle to the proliferation of the electric car, especially in remote locations, is the dearth of charging stations.  Current owners of 100% electric cars are aware of the fact that finding charging stations can be a significant and daunting challenge.  Finding a charging station on some stretches of highway is completely out of the question.  Without numerous charging stations there is little reason for car customers to purchase electric cars.  Ironically, there is little reason for gasoline station owners to purchase a charging station with so few electric cars on the road.  However, retro-fitting or redesigning an existing model so that it is equipped with a solar panel roof may help to give these vehicles more range.

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