Recently my colleague John Voelcker over at Green Car Reports wrote about why he and some fancy report thought that people will buy hybrid electric cars if more car companies offer electric cars and prices come down. Only then will we see that it’s not about being “seen.” Instead, it’s about trying to do the right thing, which is moving our transportation sector to an all-electric model.
People who buy new technology do that because they are early adopters. However, I can tell you that most of the electric cars that come out (except for the Tesla) have not been the sexiest. Does anyone remember the first generation Toyota Prius or the THINK City in 2001?
However, here is the thing:
I have worked with hundreds of early adopters of pure electric cars over the years. John’s story said that electric cars or plug-in hybrids do not recoup their initial upfront cost. However, most of these studies refer to only specific areas where you save, such as fuel costs. Yet when you include the brakes, the oil, the spark plugs, the engine or all the other complex aspects that cost money to maintain on an internal combustion vehicle, electric cars most of that initial upfront cost. I believe this is the way some car companies afford to build a hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or electric car.
This happens to all new technologies. People buy electric cars, hybrids or PHEV’s because it’s more about doing the right thing and making a public statement than the product itself. Look at the bumper stickers on people’s hybrids. You can tell where they stand politically, not what they wish to think but what they do think.
Once car companies offer the free-market electric cars, consumers will want them. Currently, consumers can only pretty much get hybrids. With the exception of the Tesla and the Nissan Leaf (coming soon), there is limited market participation from other car companies to build electric cars. The free market usually does not prevail on electric cars. Price subsidies for oil vs electric…common – you know what I mean.
Batteries using lithium-ion technology from some of the best companies in America such as A123 Systems need bulk orders to compete with China. Controllers like those produced by AC Propulsion will come down in price once we build more of the same technology and product in the United States and become the world leader in this new transportation era.
Seth Leitman is the consulting series editor to McGraw Hill on the Green Guru Guides.
The idea of all electric car is great. But we need to remember that even if 20% of all cars in the USA were to become electric cars, we not have enough electricity in the current grid to charge all of them. Unless we think about using solar PV collectors to charge these cars when they are not being used (when a person is in the office), it may work. Then again it will need numerous charging stations to plug in these cars. These cars have a very limited range. Hence they are good for local limited mile commute only.
There are several companies converting the present Prius into high mileage hybrids which in the real world scenario gives 80 MPH using additional Li Ion batteries.
Until we have a solution to all the questions, having an all electric cars is a far fetched proposition.
[…] of car was the internal combustion (gasoline)type. Other varieties have arrived such as Hybrid andelectric. With the new choices are other decisions such as which one reduces most the carbon footprint (or […]
Thanks for the tips you have contributed here. Something important I would like to talk about is that personal computer memory specifications generally go up along with other improvements in the technological innovation. For instance, as soon as new generations of processor chips are brought to the market, there’s usually an equivalent increase in the scale calls for of both the pc memory and also hard drive room. This is because the application operated by simply these processors will inevitably boost in power to leverage the new technological know-how.
Comments are closed.