Dec 4, 2013
Karen Cook
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Low EV Sales Prompt Survey


Electric vehicle options are ever expanding. More and more manufacturers are producing them. The public is increasingly aware of the damage gasoline powered vehicles are doing to the environment. So why aren’t more EVs being sold? Recently a couple of surveys were done by Navigant Research in an effort to answer this question.

Most electric car manufacturers offer rebates on these vehicles which take thousands of dollars off the price. The government also offers subsidies at the state and local levels which further decreases the final price. The first survey found that most consumers are not aware of this money sitting on the table. There have not been adequate educational measures taken to get this information out to the general population.

It’s the second survey, though that pinpoints the major problem with getting these cars off the dealerships and onto the road. The price is just too high. Even taking the rebates and incentives into account, an electric vehicle still comes in at over $25,000. 70% of the 1,084 people surveyed were unwilling to pay this for an EV. In fact, 43% would not pay more than $20,000. The limited availability of charging stations and the time it takes to charge make this a steep price tag for the inconvenience. As a side note only 16% of respondents were willing to pay more than $2 for fifteen charging minutes, if they can find a station. The price of batteries is also high which adds to the cost down the road.

If you put an electric car and a gas powered one side by side the after sale costs aren’t that different. Gas and car repairs are roughly the same as batteries and charging costs. When looked at this way the price doesn’t seem to be unreasonable. Unless electric vehicle makers can get this information out and provide convenient charging possibilities though, it doesn’t appear that sales will compete with gas vehicles any time soon. The environment alone is not a high enough priority to overcome the drawbacks for most consumers.