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Re: [EVDL] US News & World Reports Attacks EV's.

On 21 Nov 2010 at 11:52, Gary Munkhoff wrote:

> If consumers continue to base their decision to purchase an EV or not,
> on price alone, the fate of the EV will rest in the hands of big oil and OPEC.

But that's a HUGE component in the average buyer's decision!

Other important factors are styling, comfort, capacity/size, perceived
safety, and emotional response to advertising. A few consumers may pay lip
service to efficiency and environmental friendliness, but for most buyers
they're barely on the charts. (For example, several years back a survey
found that fuel efficiency came in nearly last among decision factors. The
number of cupholders the car had was more important to buyers.)

Most of us will probably agree that buyers SHOULD consider efficiency and
environmental friendliness. And some do, enough that there's significant
pent-up demand for EVs. Witness the interest in the Volt and Leaf. But the
reality is that this is a pretty small number of buyers. It remains to be
seen how sustained EV demand will be once (if) the pent-up demand is
satisfied.

I expect that without strong legislative intervention (very unlikely in the
US), EVs are likely to remain a niche product until there is almost no more
fuel to put in the ICEs' tanks.

Most EVers think that expensive fuel alone will do the job of making EVs
sell, and indeed rising prices to spark interest - new subscriptions to the
EVDL track the price of gasoline surprisingly closely. But I think it's a
superficial interest for many. After some initial annoyance the driver gets
resigned to the higher cost and adjusts his budget. This is especially true
when the price periodically falls back and then inches forward again (as has
been the case in recent years).

Besides, you can bet that as / if petroleum becomes more expensive, so will
other forms of energy, including electricity. That's the way these things
work.

As I see it, only when it becomes exceedingly inconvenient (not just
expensive) to fill a gas tank - as it was during the filling-station-line,
even-odd-day-rationing fuel shortages of the 1970s - will mass interest in
EVs really materialize.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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