Green Car Reports ran a Twitter poll to see what their readers thought would get more people to consider buying an EV. The results, though unscientific, are as follows:
What will get more people to consider electric cars?
— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) February 5, 2018
Not surprisingly, price tops the list. EVs are certainly more expensive to buy (although there have been some attractive lease deals available), but cheaper to run. While Green Car Reports thinks that the concern about lack of public chargers, second on the list of concerns, is perhaps caused by consumers not realizing how many are out there already, we disagree. In our experience, the public chargers are often occupied for long periods of time (sometimes, annoyingly, not even by EVs) making it impractical to rely on them being available. Unlike a gas station, where even if the pumps are all occupied when you arrive, you know it will be only a few minutes before you can fill up, EV chargers tend to be occupied for tens of minutes (fast DC chargers) to hours (level 2 AC ones). Where they are located needs to be different, and the number of them needs to increase dramatically (or they need to start charging based on time connected to reduce the number of people occupying them for hours when they didn’t need to charge).
Not on their list was reluctance of the sales people at dealerships to actually sell EVs. The sales person we bought our EV from admitted that he had been actively steering his customers away from the EVs, and back into ICE vehicles. He claimed to have changed his mind after going to another dealership to collect our EV from them and driving it back, but who knows if that is really the case.
We have heard from other sources that dealers are less keen on selling EVs because they make less money in servicing afterwards. If that is true, I’m sure the sales people are not being incentivized to sell them (and very likely the opposite).
The dealer’s attitude towards EVs could make a big difference to people who are on the fence about whether to go electric or stay with ICE (or hybrid). Hopefully, as we see the next generation of EVs coming out and more marketing from the manufacturers pushing them, the dealers will fall in line too.