Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery
What do future buyers of hybrid and electric vehicles expect? Surprisingly, according to a recent survey, a reduction in fuel usage or elimination of fuel is not a primary concern. What buyers want is simple: all of the benefits of a traditional gasoline vehicle with better reliability, performance and affordability. Okay, maybe that's not simple. Theses expectations are lofty and perhaps even unreachable.
A recent survey conducted by Accenture, a consulting group, shows that 65 percent of respondents are likely to consider a hybrid or EV if it sacrifices none of the benefits of gasoline vehicles. As if this target is not difficult enough to reach, respondents also expect improvements in the three categories listed above. Let's look at this a little more closely. Respondents want better performance, a car that lasts forever and offers all of the virtues of a gasoline vehicle at a lower price? Don't we all.
The high expectations don't end there. Fifty-one percent of responders want a vehicle capable of recharging in 20 minutes, more than 50 percent will not pay more for a hybrid or EV than a traditional vehicle, and more than half want recharging stations every 11 to 50 miles apart, assuming the vehicle's range is 200 miles, another expectation. While automakers race to meet these expectations with their collective hands full building an impossible vehicle, is there anything else to add to the list?