Henrik Fisker, the man behind the range-extended Karma plug-in, predicts that electric-drive vehicles, which currently appeal to a small segment of car buyers, will quickly become the industry norm, gaining widespread acceptance similar to the iPhone and flat-screen TVs.
At the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Fisker detailed his take on the imminent rise of plug-in vehicles, stating:
Fisker said that flat-screen TVs launched in 1997 with a price tag of nearly $20,000. By 2010, flat screens had dropped to $500. Fisker believes that electric-drive vehicles will follow a similar downward price trend. Furthermore, he claims that "range-extenders" (i.e. the Fisker Karma) will become the "core powertrain" in the automotive industry by mid-decade. He didn't mention that hybrids – another item he could have compared plug-in vehicles to – have not followed the same downward price trend.
Look at flat-screen TVs and smartphones. When they first came out, no-one said they'd never catch on as they were too expensive.
Everyone's is buying a flat-screen TV and smartphone now and no-one who's done it is going to go back to the old technology. Sure, an old TV may have just as good a picture as a flat-screen but that didn't stop them taking off.
It's the same with electric cars: if you want one, you will buy one, more people will see them and then everyone will want the latest technology.