Plenty of people are interested in reducing their impact on the environment. Many of us are recycling, turning off faucets and lights, biking instead of driving and even buying energy efficient appliances. But what about cars?
According to a recent survey conducted by Persuadable Research, 62% of respondents have heard of electric car makers. However, the market share of PEV (Plug in Electric Cars) is only 0.60% in the United States. There are currently around 200,000 of these cars on the road in the states. What would increase adoption of this technology?
Persuadable Research respondents pointed to high cost, 36%, newness of concept, 36%, and not enough service centers, 35%, as main reasons not to purchase an electric car. However, with Tesla, one of the best known electric car makers, recently releasing their patents, it’s clear that they are hoping to spread acceptance and infrastructure by getting more electric cars on the road, even if they aren’t Teslas. Moreover, as time passes, prices will come down due to improvements in technology and competition.
One out of five survey takers were concerned with driving distance. Auto makers are all trying to make longer range vehicles. Some vehicles go 62 miles per charge, while others go up to 265 miles. Without widespread charging stations, it would be difficult to commute long distances with such a car.
Almost as many panelists, 17%, were concerned about charging stations and charging time being too slow. It’s true that many areas in the country do not have charging stations, and even with a 220 outlet, it would take as long as four hours to fully charge most vehicles. A 110 outlet would take about ten hours. Tesla has create a network of super charging stations around the country for model S owners that provides free charges to combat this problem. Charging at these stations can take as little as 40 minutes.
Many automakers are working on a whole new class of electric cars, namely SUV’s. Many luxury automakers are selling these kinds of vehicles for $45,000 to over $75,000. Other automakers are working on hybrids that use some electric and some gas.
While there are not many electric cars currently on the road compared to traditional automobiles, it is clear that the growth rate indicates that they are becoming more popular. Large cities and places with pollution problems are likely to get on board first. Consumers should keep in mind that it’s not as if electricity itself is free or free from pollutants, i.e. coal power plants. So if one is hoping for less environmental impact, he or she would have to think about where the electricity is coming from that powers their electric car.