Tesla Model S – Click above for high-res image gallery
Is the Tesla Roadster sexy? How about the Model S (pictured) or the Fisker Karma? It seems that most people would say they are, and that means the sales prospects look good, says Merrill Lynch. The Bank of America/Merrill Lynch global research firm recently looked into the future of cars with plugs and came away with a positive impression of EVs and PHEVs – as long as those vehicles leave a good impression on the potential buyer. Analyst Steven Milunovich told B-Net that, "EVs need to appeal to consumers on a psychological level, such as prestige and driving enjoyment. [...] When the cost of EVs is reasonably close to gas cars, then I think we reach a tipping point where people will start buying electric cars as long as they're cool and fun to drive. We'll soon start seeing all kinds of customizing, like adding wi-fi or LED lights."
It'll take a while for the cost of plug-in cars to get "reasonably close" to ICE vehicles. Until then, the pure environmental argument for EVs and PHEVs will be enough to sway some people. How many? Well, that's what we'll have to keep watching to find out.