• Sep 29th 2009 at 12:52PM
  • 16

Today, there's only one highway-speed electric vehicle you can actually go out and buy in the U.S.: the Tesla Roadster. In the next 18 months, though, more options for zero tailpipe emissions vehicles will become available, and consumers are getting ready. According to CNW Marketing Research, the number of car buyers who are at least considering buying a pure electric vehicle has doubled since 2007. Of course, doubling isn't all that big a deal when you're going from around two percent to five percent and considering isn't the same as saving up now to buy and EV when they come to market.

EV advocates have a strong case to make that the "EV grin" (what happens when people get into an electric car for the first time and experience the quiet power of a well-designed electric car) is absolutely contagious and fully expect people to happily gravitate towards EVs in the coming years. Still, lets not forget that hybrids, which have been on the market in the U.S. since 2000, only make up around two to three percent of all new cars sold in the U.S. today.

[Source: CNW Marketing Research via BNET]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The issue with the NmG is that it does not have to conform to highway safety regulations for automobiles. It is registered as a motorcycle and subject to motorcycle safety regulations. No airbag, seatbelt pretensioners...ect...

      I can't justify 30k for a vehicle with that little range and no safety...
        • 8 Months Ago
        You're right, the NmG is a motorcycle, and your wrong, the seat belt does have a pretensioner on it. It is no less safe than any other motorcycle out there, probably safer than almost all two wheelers. At any rate, my comment is that there are *two* freeway capable EV's on the market today, one since early 2006 and one since early 2008. I'm not sellin' 'em, just stating a fact.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's hardly fair to say that Americans are slow to adopt electric vehicle technology just because hybrid vehicles have been on the market since 2000. Until very recently, the selection in the hybrid vehicle market was pitiful .... you could drive a Civic Hybrid or a Prius .... that was pretty much it. If you were in the market for a truck, van, suv, or even a mid-sized sedan, you were out of luck. And, as so many people before me have pointed out, not everyone can drive a Prius.

      Even today, the selection of hybrid vehicle offerings is very small as compared to the number of standard models. If every model on the market were offered in both a hybrid and standard variant, I have no doubt that hybrid vehicles would make up a much larger percentage of new vehicle sales. Of course, automakers are not about to do that because of the higher cost overhead. Even so, hybrid market share will continue to climb as consumer choice in that market segment begins to reach parity with standard offerings. The simple fact is that for a large number of buyers, environmental and fuel saving benefits won't compensate for a vehicle that doesn't meet their wants/needs.

      Pure electric vehicles will suffer the same growing pains in the next several years. When your only choices are an ultra-expensive supercar (such as the Roadster), or a jelly bean on wheels (such as the iMiev), or one of the multitude of death-trap tricycles (Aptera comes to mind), you're going to have a hard time luring anyone except the very wealthy or the most dedicated environmetalists. The vehicles that are on the road today got there because they have the features/functions that consumers are looking for. Only when hybrid and pure electric vehicles can provide the same conveniences at a reasonable cost premium will they appeal to the mass market.
        • 8 Months Ago
        "...or one of the multitude of death-trap tricycles (Aptera comes to mind),"

        What is it specifically that makes them (it) a death trap? The lack of a fourth wheel, non-steel construction, no obnoxious mandated crash bumpers, light weight, not enough air bags, what?
        • 8 Months Ago
        The survey seems to have focused on the personal vehicle segment. I wonder how acceptance numbers would be if they were to ask commercial buyers of electric vehicles?

        The limited range the BEVs have currently restricts them to relatively small geographic areas, specifically urban centers. The greater weight capacity of trucks means they can carry the heavy batteries required. This makes them ideal for delivery vehicles in fleet use.

        Smith EV has provided heavy delivery trucks (the Smith Newton) to Pacific G&E, Coca Cola, Staples, AT&T, Frito Lay, and Kansas City P&L.

        The Ford Transit Connect EV is highly anticipated by small businesses in 2010.

      • 8 Months Ago
      "On another note, what's with the doubled numbers on graph's y-axis?"

      I assume the values are 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 ...
      But for some reason only whole numbers were plotted.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...there's only one highway-speed electric vehicle you can actually go out and buy in the U.S.: the Tesla Roadster."

      Not quite true.

      There is only one *four wheel* highway-speed electric vehicle (Tesla Roadster) and one *three-wheel* highway-speed electric vehicle (Myers NmG) you can actually go out and buy in the US. today.
      • 8 Months Ago
      IMHO, it's not so much the "EV Grin" that will ultimately sell these cars. It's the "gas station cringe".

      Let's face it, a lot of these initial cars are going into multi-car families. After the EV driver goes for a while without having to stop at a gas station, they eventually get back into the dino burner and have to get gas. You suddenly realize what a pain the posterior that is, and how expensive gasoline is, and you cringe.

      When you describe that to your non-EV driving friends, they want to find out what you're talking about and their interest in EVs climbs.

      Having EVs that are good looking, good performing and most of all look like regular cars is also essential. Wierd three wheelers, no matter how efficient, and always going to be less that 0.01% of the American car market.

      As EVs become less expensive, those grins and cringes are going to translate into more and more sales. It's going to take time. Ten years is not nearly enough when we're talking about such a radical change in transportation.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Is this another example of All Gore's hockey stick curve?
        • 8 Months Ago
        Al Gore... but is it? Yes/no?

        A lot of people were not very impressed by Gore's impression of our ability to fight the sea, for centuries. Typical...
        • 8 Months Ago
        What is this hate of Al Gore, I have read it in other comments by you. Resorting to ad hominem is pretty weak, I didn't think people in the Netherlands watched the likes of Fox News anyway.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I don't understand what you're talking about.
        What does Al Gore's graph of CO2 production, which seems to nicely correlate to a Human Population EXPLOSION in the last 250 years, got to do with this article.
      • 8 Months Ago
      A couple of points.

      No grin when you get into a hybrid. Perhaps EVs will do better if they ever become available for an ordinary person to drive.

      That curve will shoot up when people see obviously electric, but good looking cars on the road. Tesla will seldom be seen and, if seen, recognized.

      It would difficult for me to afford or justify a $30K car of any kind. One that is only suitable as a second or third car for a short commute or run to the supermarket will never sell in great numbers. Unless gasoline goes to 7 or 8 dollars per gallon.
      • 8 Months Ago
      letstakeawalk is perfectly right of course. Check out the numerous videos on the website of Smith EV at http://www.sev-us.com showing the 7.5ton Smith Newton all-electric delivery truck - hundreds of which are in daily use in Europe (logistics company TNT has 150 of them, operating from 24 depots) and the first dozen of which recently took to the streets in the US - soon to be joined by the 130 already ordered.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "no obnoxious mandated crash bumpers, light weight, not enough air bags,"

      Yes, Yes, and Yes.
      • 8 Months Ago
      When it comes to data presentation this chart is very poor. Apparently the chart creator doesn't understand decimal places and also is playing with the scale. While it is true that the number doubled in the last 4 years (or tripled in 9 years) , you could also state that support of non-electric cars only declined 2.6% over the last 4 years. There is a counterpoint to this graph, 95% of people don't want electric cars!
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