Jul 15, 2013
Elizabeth Puckett
Comments Off on Electric Cars Will Probably Never Be ‘Mainstream’

Electric Cars Will Probably Never Be ‘Mainstream’

With more EV charging stations popping up all over the country, some might expect that electric vehicles will soon take over the streets one day. What many people don’t realize is that there’re some serious roadblocks when it comes to EV ownership and it’s not likely that these cars will ever become mainstream, unless the makers address certain issues first. Auto makers have been banking on high gas prices to drive buyers to alternative powered vehicles, but the numbers just aren’t there yet.

Tesla’s controversial and coveted Model S recently received one of the highest ever rankings by the consumer advocacy site, Consumer Reports. This sharp and quick car has plenty of appeal and is likely to be a big hit with EV driver, if Tesla is ever able to sell directly to consumers in all states. Drivers who want to own a Tesla model will be dishing out the big bucks with prices starting out at $62,400 and exceeding $87,000.

The Tesla Model S might be out of reach for some, but more affordable EVs are out there for those who want to go electric. The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt have both become popular among drivers due to deep price cuts and incentives given by dealers who want to move more electric cars.

Despite big price cuts, many still find these models to be grossly overpriced. Because of the higher initial purchase price, it takes many years for these vehicles to pay for the in fuel savings; most people will likely sell and buy another car before the EV fuel savings make up for the high ticket price. It would take a pretty big breakthrough in the battery technology used in electric vehicles to lower the MSRP on these vehicles.

Even if the pricing issue is managed, there’re still many obstacles to overcome before consumers warm up to EVs. New car buyers remain fairly unsure about the logistics of operating and maintaing an EV; car sales representatives are somewhat reluctant to spend the time to educate buyers. Many drivers are also quite put off by the limited driving distance and long charging times of electric cars.

Electric vehicles are promoted as a way to reduce the cost of operating a vehicle as well as a greener form of transportation. Although, their economy over gasoline models has been called into question, many people still agree that EVs and hybrids are less costly to own. More electric models will likely become available soon as auto manufacturers will have to offer more economical models.

Electric vehicles and other alternative fuel cars also have no shortage of government support. Federal regulations will require all fleets to have a 54.5 MPG average by 2025.

What do you think it would take for electric cars to become more mainstream? Would better pricing and more incentives get them there? Could longer trip capabilities and reduced charging times do it? Or is it maybe just a matter of better public education and more familiarity with this class of vehicle?

Source : CBS News