Why Do Consumers Not Appreciate the Electric Car Revolution? : It will surprise many people to learn that electric vehicles have been around for over 100 years and indeed electric cars were available well before petrol driven vehicles. However, if this is the case then why has the electric car revolution been such a letdown to date?
Whichever way you present the electric vehicle market there is no doubt that sales to date have been disappointing even if there has been increased demand over the last five years or so. When you take into account the enormous amount of taxpayer’s money which has been invested by various governments around the world, including the US and UK authorities, why are we still waiting for electric vehicles to hit the mass market?
The reality is that unless you go looking for an electric vehicle in your area you will be unlikely to come across one by chance. They are not readily available on the forecourts of major car companies around the world and indeed there is very little in the way of public advertising on TV, in newspapers and online. Much of the news flow associated with the electric vehicle market tends to come from new launches or comments from figures of good standing in the industry.
This will change in due course, electric cars will become more readily available but at this moment in time you would be far stretched to suggest there is an aggressive ongoing marketing campaign!
If you wanted to talk about the average electric vehicle of today, such as the Nissan Leaf, you would probably find it very difficult to come across somebody by chance that has an in-depth knowledge. The fact is that many of us automatically assume that electric vehicles are unreliable, overhyped and not worth the time and effort taken to investigate further, but the reality is very different.
Electric vehicle technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade, we have seen hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the arena and further progress is expected in the battery sector over the next couple of years. As there are fewer moving parts within an electric vehicle there is less maintenance required, maintenance is on the whole less-expensive and to all intents and purposes it is difficult to class them as “unreliable”.
When we look at electric car charging points it comes down to the old question, what came first, the chicken or the egg? The fact is that very few companies are willing to invest heavily in the electric car charging sector without a significant number of vehicles on the market to make this worthwhile. On the other hand, consumers are unwilling to invest heavily into electric vehicles while charging stations are not readily available thereby leaving us at something of an impasse.
The fact is that concerns about charging points are perhaps the main reason why consumers have yet to grasp the electric car revolution. There are many mistruths and rumours about car charging points and indeed the vehicle capacity of the average electric car today. The reality is that unless car manufacturers and governments around the world roll-out aggressive advertising campaigns explaining the situation in great detail, and dismembering untruths and rumours, they will to all intents and purposes be fighting a losing battle.
There is a certain stigma still attached to the electric vehicle market, there are concerns about the journey capacity but perhaps one of the major problems is the issue of car charging points. Only now have we seen governments and companies around the world issue promises to encourage the introduction of car charging points, only now have we seen companies interested in building car charging points and this will very soon rub off on the consumer.
Many people are dismayed by the journey capacity of the electric vehicle today but when you consider that the new Nissan Leaf, to be introduced in 2013, will have a capacity approaching 150 miles per full charge, how does this compare to the average vehicle? The reality is that many of us will travel less than 80 miles in the average day, many of us will never carry sufficient fuel to cover 150 miles per journey therefore once electric car charging points are readily available, what is stopping the consumer?
As we touched on above, there will need to be a rather aggressive marketing campaign by governments and car manufacturers around the world. They will need to dispel some of the rumours and untruths surrounding the industry, they will need to put consumer confidence at ease and this will need to be done sooner rather than later. Every year that passes with no change in the historic stigma attached to the electric vehicle market is yet another year of lost investment returns, investment returns on the millions upon millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money invested in the industry so far. The time is here, the technology is there and now we need to see untruths and rumours dispelled as soon as possible.