Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ignoring what customers want - the Obama way

Guess what? People just don't seem to want to buy electric cars and there seems little hope that the market would survive without the federal government's support.
President Barack Obama's goal of putting 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015 could run into a huge roadblock -- the American consumer.

According to a report released Wednesday by researchers at Indiana University, automakers are unlikely to manufacture enough cars to reach the president's goal because of a potential lack of buyer demand.

Nissan and General Motors, makers of the Leaf and Volt, respectively, already have the capacity to produce enough cars to meet the goal. Serious questions remain, however, about the level of desire among potential buyers worried about cost, ease of use and likely resale value.

"After the early adopters, what is going to motivate the mainstream people to buy the vehicles?" asked Gurminder Bedi, a retired Ford Motor Co. executive and one of the authors of the report.

"Buying an electric vehicle just by itself, because it's better for gas mileaa think? ge, will be a good factor. But that's not going to be sufficient."
Do you mean to say that people might actually consider other questions such as "cost, ease of use and likely resale value" when making a major purchase? Who knew?


Pat Patterson said...

Isn't Leaf the French translation of Trabant?

Rick Caird said...

What was that test in England? Something about a trip to Scotland taking longer by electric car than it did in the days of stage coaches. Therein lies the problem. Electric cars are nothing more than short commute cars. They are not general purpose cars unless thye are a hybrid. But, if they are a hybrid, you are paying for a lot of electrical stuff that is not used all that often.

LarryD said...

Actually, in a well-designed hybrid cruising is done off of the battery, the motor only runs when the battery is drawn down too much.

They are more expensive because you are paying for two systems, though.

I wonder how well they do in sub-freezing temperatures.

tfhr said...

When Obama's motorcades consist of Volts, I'll consider one, but until then I'm waiting for a windmill powered car.

TimK said...

Even if consideration of the environment was only relevant factor, what basis is there for concluding that electric cars are a net improvement? Electricity is not an independent source of energy; it comes from things such as coal, oil, or nuclear generators. My understanding is that most electricity in the U.S. comes from coal.