Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

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Thread: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

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    Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Why Americans Don’t Buy EVs: No Sea Change Yet Despite The Tesla Model 3
    Brooke Crothers, Contributor
    Sep 22, 2019
    forbes.com

    Most Americans aren’t interested in electric vehicles. That’s a cold fact.

    I won’t cite a bunch of statistics (that may seem encouraging but actually are not). Just look around you.

    2020 is almost here but it’s still wall-to-wall gas cars. And it’s not just inertia. All those new cars are gas too.

    My neighborhood in Los Angeles is a very rare exception with more than its fair share of Model 3 owners as well as a small Chevy Volt and Bolt presence. But leave my neighborhood and travel to other locations around the U.S. and EVs pretty much vanish.

    Yes, the Model 3 is a hit and has topped 500,000 cumulative registrations* but it’s not that popular. I mean it’s not the car that’s going to bring average car-buying Americans into the EV fold in large numbers. The price alone limits its appeal.

    Why are EVs unpopular?

    My experience as an early EV adopter (2013 Volt**) has been that on average people see EVs as exotic, weird cars. Certainly not for them. It means straying from a critical comfort zone. The gas-car paradigm has worked for a 100 years, it works for them now and that’s good enough, thank you. And many have vague, uninformed fears about range and running out of juice on the way to the store.

    Or to put it another way, old habits are hard to break, as Alan Ohnsman of Forbes said to me.

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    Last edited by nadepalma; 10-01-2019 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Reformatted; moved to newsticker
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    I don't know how the power grid is going to charge all these cars. It's hard to build a coal plant today and nearly impossible to build a nuclear plant. The alternative sources (wind, solar, hydro) are impractical with today's technology. Are we just going to be paying insane utility bills to drive all these electric vehicles?
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Like I quoted from Neanderthal's other recent story he posted, most Americans have no interest what so ever in owning an electric automobile.

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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Fueling time (gas / diesel / electric) is a big deal. Until there is an infrastructure to rapidly charge electric vehicles safely and easily, their sales will suffer.

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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    The price of 'em is a show stopper. EVs have the "quality" of a $15K car for $35K.
    And then there's the iffy support and obsolence factor.

    The good news is that preowned EVs are the bargain of the used car world if that 2nd thing doesn't bother you

    Quote Originally Posted by Clownzilla View Post
    It's hard to build a coal plant today
    But it's not hard to convert a coal plant to natural gas, the most common way of generating power today.
    To say it is abundant would be a gross understatement.

    In 2018, gas was 35%, coal 27%, nuclear 19% and renewables 17%, other 2%
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by eaton53 View Post
    The price of 'em is a show stopper. EVs have the "quality" of a $15K car for $35K.
    And then there's the iffy support and obsolence factor.

    The good news is that preowned EVs are the bargain of the used car world if that 2nd thing doesn't bother you



    But it's not hard to convert a coal plant to natural gas, the most common way of generating power today.
    To say it is abundant would be a gross understatement.

    In 2018, gas was 35%, coal 27%, nuclear 19% and renewables 17%, other 2%
    Yeah, this piece and the companion article about Accord/Camry failed to mention MAJOR sticking points with Tesla: quality of build, availability of parts especially body parts, local Tesla dealerships.
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Even fast charging in unbearable. And it always will be. It’s the one major thing holding EVs back. My solution is to put inductive chargers on long stretches of highway to charger while driving. Or something similar. Nobody wants to stop for 30+ minutes every 3 hours in the middle of a road trip.
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    A small anecdote: when I bought my first smartphone back in 2002 (5 years before the first iphone and 6 years before android was anything other than a humanoid robot) when very few people had a smartphone. People couldn't understand why anyone would carry around a bulky phone when you could carry a sleek RAZR like everyone else. 8 years later, that perception had changed completely.

    I'm not saying EV adoption would happen that quickly. But, then again, I get fewer questions about why I drive an EV than I did about that old phone way back in the early 2000s. In fact, the take on Tesla from most folks at least in CA is not "why would I want one?", it's more "I'm definitely getting one when I can afford one!" Especially from the younger folks.
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    No doubt that 99+% of consumers don't care a whit about having an EV. They just want to be able to get to work, etc. Plus, 99+% of consumers don't care about climate change, CO2 levels, or glaciers though they may give lip service to all those things. The fact of the matter is people are just too busy to get all worked up which is probably good since there's so much misinformation about the climate, CO2 levels, and glaciers. Besides, you need to have a certain amount of geekness to care about what's under the hood of your car, and 99+% of people just aren't geeky.
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by TruckMan View Post
    Even fast charging in unbearable. And it always will be. It’s the one major thing holding EVs back. My solution is to put inductive chargers on long stretches of highway to charger while driving. Or something similar. Nobody wants to stop for 30+ minutes every 3 hours in the middle of a road trip.
    This is why I like the Volt/ELR EREVs.
    No need to ever fast charge and you can drive anywhere without ever charging outside the home.
    You don't even need a "charger" other than the one that came with the car. Wall plug works just fine!
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    A lot of people are probably like me. The moment that I can recharge as easily as I can buy a tank of gas, I'll be interested in an electric car.

    Until then, I'm not interested. I have no interest in carefully plotting out my route to include charging stations. I'm not interested in traveling like I'm crossing the Sahara, plotting a course from oasis to oasis.
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by 1999 White C5 Coupe View Post
    Fueling time (gas / diesel / electric) is a big deal. Until there is an infrastructure to rapidly charge electric vehicles safely and easily, their sales will suffer.
    Honestly, this is my major point of resistance in adopting the EV lifestyle.
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    I really liked the Volt and it defeated the EV range limitation. And I thought it was a pretty nice car, but not really the sort of car that I would want. For where I now live, on an island where everything is pretty close by and most drives are short, it would have been a perfect fit. I'd have been like my brother-in-law who drove a Volt - he used to get warnings from the car to use the gasoline up because it was getting old.

    Now the ELR was another story. Maybe not the best performer, but a great looking coupe. If it wasn't so ridiculously, outrageously, insanely overpriced, I might well have purchased one.
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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by 1999 White C5 Coupe View Post
    Fueling time (gas / diesel / electric) is a big deal. Until there is an infrastructure to rapidly charge electric vehicles safely and easily, their sales will suffer.
    No surprise. Too many compromises to try and make it work and they are too expensive even with government incentives.

    I think they are cool from a technology standpoint but I have no interest.

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    Re: Most Americans Aren't Interested In Electric Vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by TruckMan View Post
    Even fast charging in unbearable. And it always will be. It’s the one major thing holding EVs back. My solution is to put inductive chargers on long stretches of highway to charger while driving. Or something similar. Nobody wants to stop for 30+ minutes every 3 hours in the middle of a road trip.
    Right but how often does the average person take a trip exceeding 300 miles in one sitting? I've done 2 ~200 mile one way trips so far in '19. Stopping for a half hour every 4-5 hours (assuming ~300 mile range unless you really like to push triple digit speeds) isn't that unreasonable considering most people will take a good 15-20 minutes to refuel one tank and empty the other.

    That was GM's whole logic behind the first Volt, x% of people do not exceed a 40 mile round trip to work, so most will rarely burn any gas. Now you take a 300 mile range from an EV, and x% goes up significantly.

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