“Consumers Adore” Electric Cars, But Still Not Flocking To Them

AUG 14 2016 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 74

2017 Chevrolet Volt

2017 Chevrolet Volt

Although gas prices are rising again, and automakers are investing tons of money into electric cars, consumers are not fully engaged.

Britta Gross, director of advanced vehicle commercialization policy at General Motors explained:

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

“Consumers adore these vehicles. People love the quietness, the smoothness, the seamless drive. Why don’t consumers flock to these vehicles? What’s missing? What do we have to do? We’re at the point where we have a lot to do.”

Range was a substantial barrier at first, but automakers are solving this problem.

Tesla and soon Chevrolet are already making 200 miles of range possible, Nissan and others intend to shortly follow suit. Even Honda Motor’s manager of electric sales, Robert Langford said:

“It’s really an exciting time going from now to 2020. With all the new product coming out, hopefully, a whole new group of customers [will come] to drive electric.”

However, he admitted . . . “Barriers are still many.”

Langford shared that battery range may not be as much of a problem as charging. Consumers are not educated on charging. They don’t know where to charge or don’t have a place to charge. Many people charge at home if they live in single family homes and can install chargers, but there are not enough chargers at work or on the road or in apartments or condos. Charger compatibility is also an issue. This causes anxiety for consumers.

GM’s Britta Gross believes:

“We have to overpower these consumers. If you don’t accompany an infrastructure program, or a vehicle incentive program, with an outreach campaign, you’ve lost the battle. Everything you do, you have to spend an equal amount of money to talk about it.”

The EV segment is very different than traditional auto sales and will take much effort and time to catch on. Dealerships and salespeople are set up to sell ICE vehicles and there is comfort in it. It is hard for dealerships to put time and resources into training salespeople and educating consumers when the vehicle that they are trying to sell makes up less than 1% of the market share. General manager of Audi America, Aaron Cohen said:

“You need a symphony of activity among all the stakeholders.”

He includes automakers, electric utility companies, charging companies, federal, state, and local governments and dealerships in the list of players that need to be on the same team. This is a major undertaking and it’s not going to happen quickly.

Source: Autonews

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74 Comments on "“Consumers Adore” Electric Cars, But Still Not Flocking To Them"

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Once the price of the kWh of the battery drops to $100 or less they will flock.

That is true, Also many dread the thought of having to replace batteries @ these prices…You save it on fuel now , But Pay for it a few fold later on..Until battery prices drop.. Even though Ev’s are better in so many ways over any ICE car Hands down !

I would be open to replacing the battery on a used eletric car if I could grow the battery capacity of a 60 mile range EV by three to four times and if the upgrade was under $3000.

No Doubt! so would the majority of us …That would be such a Deal!

People will pay as they go, they don’t like lump sum payments. Some say others should buy EVs but THEY have no plans to do so.

Umm…Briitta, it’s not that complicated. The objective is to make compelling cars that happen to be electric. Being electric will make them more compelling but won’t do it alone. The only tangible benefits that GM seems capable of emphasizing are fuel savings and “greenness”. WTF? Other than the ELR, which was also rediculously expensive compared to the comps, they keep trying to squeeze the extra PEV costs into small Chevys that the non-EV centric buyers see as low cost small vehicles.

Tesla emphasizes and celebrates the EV advantages. That’s why they have no trouble attracting interest and buyers. It’s almost like GM is afraid to market all EV benefits for fear of killing ICE demand.

“The only tangible benefits that GM seems capable of emphasizing are fuel savings and “greenness”.”
———–

Didn’t you read the quote from Britta?

“Consumers adore these vehicles. People love the quietness, the smoothness, the seamless drive.”

It sounds like GM is emphasizing the correct items.

and just how many have had to replace their batteries? considering the Toyota Prius has been around for 15 years, and the Leaf has been for 6. and the Volt, with a record so far of Zero battery replacements for degradation, its quickly proving that battery replacement costs are a myth.

Only, the effective price/kWh for *used* EVs is far lower than that and still people aren’t interested. So there is more to it and if you ask me (thank you, don’t mind if I do)… the ‘barriers’ are: lack of range, new price and lack of charging infrastructure. Of course, the first is merely a perceived issue for the vast majority of car owners as, once you take the plunge, it turns out to be complete non-issue particularly if you can charge at work or home.

Another growing ‘problem’ is precisely the low residual value of EVs compared to ICEVs. But this at least gives hope to wanna-be EV owners as it makes it very cheap for them to join the club. SO I expect some sort of natural balance to occur eventually – only, the whole thing is being skewed terribly by incentives for new EVs.

A ~200 mile range EV would sort the range and charging issues out to a large extent but new price? We’ll just have to wait for that one.

Ah, the old mantra of delay, delay, delay. 400,000 pre orders and little spent on “talking about it” proves big auto wrong again.

Tesla is largely responsible for the delays having developed a proprietary fast charging infrastructure. The Tesla Supercharger network has become an obstacle that has to be overcome before major adoption of electric vehicles can occur.

The Supercharger network is not a problem – it’s an important part of the solution. Every other car manufacturer can build electric cars, but none can offer a dedicated superfast charging network like Tesla.

Wrong

Nailed it!

The supercharger network is the model the other car companies have chosen to ignore.

Fools.

F00LS No Doubt! What a Negative & Stupid thing to say about the Tesla supercharger network.That is one Big Reason many buy a Tesla..Just a Plain, Plumb, off the wall Stupid comment !

Interestingly tesla offers other car makers to use their infrastructure as long as their cars can charge at the same speed and they contribute to the cost of running it and they make it available for free to their customers. But they declined so far.

No that is not true at all. Tesla built their charging network because they had to. When they started there were barely any chargers at all and whatever was there were slow. CSS and CHAdeMO are still slow, they’ve only recently specified higher than 50 kW charging. In the long run Tesla’s Superchargers will matter much less but when Tesla started they were absolutely necessary.

Wrong

Feel free to add an actual argument the next time you reply to a comment.

I’ve said it all before, you’re not listening like all true idol worshippers.

You need to work a little with your debating skills. You can’t just post “Wrong!” and expect everyone to know what the hell you are talking about.

I debate well when I have an attentive audience but how many times have we had these same arguments? How many times have my words fallen on ears only tuned to hear Tesla praise? No, debate with you Tesla worshippers is pointless.

It’s not so much that your argument isn’t convincing, as that you don’t actually have an argument. Delusions aren’t arguments.

If you actually believe all that, then what useful purpose does it serve for you to keep posting “wrong” here over and over?

It sounds like you obtain personal pleasure from insulting people who disagree with you, and you’ve lost interest in doing anything productive.

You pointed out exactly what I thought: if it is pointless to explain yourself, why is he posting? Mental problems?

Texas FFE said:

“I’ve said it all before, you’re not listening like all true idol worshippers.”

Insults don’t qualify as an actual argument, either.

In the real world, outside the bubble world you’ve created for yourself, arguments are subject to reality checks. Yours fails spectacularly in that regard!

LMAO! Well, that settles it then.

F-

This is largely bovine feces. Legacy automakers could not agree on a standard for 90 kWh or faster charging. Tesla could not wait indefinitely so built their own and offered to share the network with the legacy automakers as long they paid into the system their proportional share. No takers because OEMs want to slow down the transition to electrified transportation.

“Tesla is largely responsible for the delays having developed a proprietary fast charging infrastructure. The Tesla Supercharger network has become an obstacle…”

WTF? This is such a bizarre meme. Tesla participated in the group developing the CCS format, but had to drop out because the group hadn’t come to an agreement by the time Tesla finalized the design of the Model S.

Accusations and insinuations such as this, including the mischaracterization of Tesla Superchargers as a “walled garden”, amount to nothing but counter-factual Tesla bashing.

In case anyone needs to be reminded, Tesla has invited any and all other auto makers to join the Supercharger network, so long as they will support the network. Tesla even offered to let such auto makers use its patents at no charge.

It’s hardly Tesla’s fault that nobody has taken them up on their offer!

Go Tesla!

BINGO! We have a winner!

“WTF? This is such a bizarre meme. Tesla participated in the group developing the CCS format, but had to drop out because the group hadn’t come to an agreement by the time Tesla finalized the design of the Model S.” There is nothing stopping them adding Chademo and CCS plugs to their Superchargers now. Non-Tesla users would pay for charging so it is a fair and profitable business plan. Obviously that’s not the business plan Tesla has for its network. “Accusations and insinuations such as this, including the mischaracterization of Tesla Superchargers as a “walled garden”, amount to nothing but counter-factual Tesla bashing.” Yet, by all accounts the Supercharger network is a proprietary walled garden. Frankly, I don’t follow your twisted logic. “Tesla has invited any and all other auto makers to join the Supercharger network, so long as they will support the network.” You mean Tesla wants others to pay for joining someone else’s proprietary network? They must be crazy to choose an open and free infrastructure instead. “Tesla even offered to let such auto makers use its patents at no charge.” Not Tesla but Musk, and not offered but blogged. We know nothing about actual contractual conditions, even… Read more »

What makes you think that Tesla wants to get into the pay-go charging business and all the complexity and cost that entails. Tesla wants to deal at the manufacturer level. These are Tesla’s charging stations that they’re making available to other MANUFACTURERS, not individuals!

It’s up to those manufacturers, not Tesla, to provide for their customers. They just have to provide a means by which their cars can charge and be willing to support the network.

FFE,

The Trump campaign is calling. They are short a FUDster.

Your Tesla God is calling, time for your nightly prayers. I think your God wants you to sacrifice a Nissan Leaf tonight.

All of you guys that think the Superchargers are so great, I have a few questions for you. The Nissan Leaf is the best selling EV model EVER. When is the last time you saw a Leaf charging at a Supercharger?

How has the Supercharger network helped sales of the the Leaf or any non-Tesla EV? How has the Supercharger network ever helped any EV advocate that couldn’t afford to spend $70,000+ on a Tesla? If anything the Supercharger network has hurt people because they overextended themselves just so they could get access to the Supercharger network they probably hardly ever use.

I personally there are more Teslas using the Chamo leaf network then the Supercharger network. The reason why I say this is that the chamo network is a lot more localized then the super charger network and is now faster growing then the Tesla.

The Teslas charging at the chmao chargers are also helping to feed into the chamo network making rural chamo locations outside of the leaf’s normal range more usable and thus more profitable.

Texas FFE whinged:

“How has the Supercharger network ever helped any EV advocate that couldn’t afford to spend $70,000+ on a Tesla?”

Dude, your jealousy is showing… a lot.

This is like the driver of a Chevrolet Chevette complaining because his car isn’t fast enough to drive in the unlimited speed land on the Autobahn, and blaming Ferrari for it being so slow!

If and when Nissan or any other PEV maker starts making PEVs which can be charged fast enough to actually use a Supercharger, then perhaps it will be time to try to get them to join the Supercharger network. They have an open invitation from Tesla to join.

At present, what would happen if you could plug a Leaf into a Supercharger, is that the battery pack would be fried.

Blaming Tesla for the failure of other auto makers to make fast-charging PEVs is… well, as I said, it’s just your jealousy showing. But your ability to deny reality is almost breathtaking.

Why don’t they flock? Because it’s different and people don’t like change.

They’re going to have to be coerced one way or another. Not just incentives, but higher taxes are needed.

Here in the UK, they’re still selling diesels. Diesels! Polluting, smog-generating, asthma-inducing, emission-cheating diesels. Banning them would be a good start.

One thing GM didn’t talk about is that at a minimum to even start the discussion your customers have to be at least aware you have an EV as a product.

There are dozens of commercials everyday on tv that show GM and GMC trucks but I have not seen one commercial at all that shows and explains the Volt. Or an ad or billboard. They had a Volt commercial out for a few months 4 years ago when gen 1 was out but I have seen 0 since then. The Volt did show up in a lineup of other GM cars in a commercial or two but they didn’t talk about it or even mention what it was.

You can certainly blame dealers for not being interested in selling them but the buck starts with GM. It’s their product and they have to inform and sell it.

Almost 6 years later since the first Volts hit the streets I still have people constantly asking me what my 17 Volt is. They have no idea what it is an have never seen one.

Compact SUV is the segment with the best growth in car industry. In Europe Mitsu Outlonder records a grand success. In North Amaerica there is no CUV EV to buy.
I’m waiting for a few ears to buy an electric car but I just don’t find one that I could like. I’ll find very ugly cars like Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 or Kia Soul.
So GM, that build a CUV like Buick Encore BEV.

Bolt EV is pretty close to that.

GM must market the Bolt as a CUV to justify its cost. Perception is everything. CUVs and “tall compacts” have become a blurry gray area, except that you can successfully charge well over $20,000 for the former and not the latter. The Bolt should qualify based on interior space. But I think the secret of being regarded as “utility” means having optional 4-wheel drive. It doesn’t matter if most people buy that option, it’s the perception of toughness.

I think it’s easy. People are used to ICE and anything else feels like an unsure thing. EVs are also still either expensive or limited. Dragging the Bolt and Model 3 into the equation is premature since we don’t yet know their impact – especially the latter seems to promise major change in EV uptake. Who knows how many more reservations will be racked up between now and the start of production? I reckon the “reveal part 2” will generate at least as much attention as part one – and possibly as many new reservations.

Basically the trajectory we are seeing is typical for any new disruptive technology. My prediction: Progress will seem slow in terms of adoption for several more years, even as the technology improves very rapidly. The effect of development obviously lags the development itself – but by sometime between 2025 and 2030 a big upheaval will occur and we’ll see ICE beginning to be phased out by everyone.

Dealers refusing to sell them might have something to do with it?

We have 2 volts and have dealt with 6 different dealers.

EVERY.
SINGLE.
ONE.

of them tried to talk us out of a Volt and into something else. Had one salesman try to get us in a base model Cruze. Fix this problem and you’ll come a long way to selling as many as you can make.

There are many stories like that unfortunately. This is actually bad for Chevrolet as a brand, GM should hire some undercover shoppers to test the dealerships and reprimand those who do this.

Altho Chevrolet, as a corporate entity, probably isn’t as actively hostile toward selling PEVs as many or most legacy auto dealers are, I doubt they’re all that interested in coercing their dealers to promote PEV sales, either. The core product of both Chevrolet and its dealers is gasmobiles.

Arguably, the only reason GM developed the Volt and the Bolt is to make sure they don’t fall too far behind as the EV revolution advances. So long as legacy auto makers make a higher profit margin on their gasmobiles than they do on their PEVs, they have no incentive to devote many resources to making or advertising PEVs.

EVs hurt the stealerships in the service department. They know they’re basically selling a car they won’t even get to change the oil on, much less do any of that other hydrocarbon voodoo crap they claim to do with ICEs when you take them in, costing $$$$.

Stealerships are the biggest obstacle to EV adoption.

Fix is easy: GM NEEDS TO SELL DIRECT USING TESLA’S MODEL. I had same experience as you with lack of support from my local dealers.

Many people own their houses and use their cars only for short distances. So, for this segment of population, the charging network is not a problem. Charging the car at home is more convenient then fill it at a gas station.

I think the fast charging wars have hurt EV adoption more than anything, much more than EV range limitations. I think the EU has the right idea in mandating a single fast charging standard. I think the EU is going to be years ahead of the USA in EV adoption primarily because they have adopted a standard.

With all money the US government is spending now on charging infrastructure development maybe we will finally get a fast charging standard. Maybe by the end of next year we will see progress towards a real fast charging standard. Until we start to see fast chargers along all major highways and in every city and small town that ALL electric vehicles can use, adoption of electric vehicles will continue to be slow.

Excaly. Too few fast chargers around and too many EVs have CCS ports that are useless, since most fast chargers in the US are either Tesla or CHADEMO. DOT can mandate headlights and mirrors, why not mandate all EVs to have one type of fast charging port, which in the US should probably be CHADEMO.

This is so easy to resolve. Install fast chargers at every gas station and done.

Is Tesla repeatedly offering to share his fast growing powerful network with the other car makers considered an act of war?
😉

Same old hollow argument. Actions speak louder than words. Where’s the beef?

Word salad. Null logical or factual content.

I use word salad for patient’s suffering with aphasia.

FFE if you want to win arguments, end all your statements with “believe me”. It is working for strong man Trump BELIEVE ME LOL

“Although gas prices are rising again”
-> http://www.motor-talk.de/news/diesel-benzin-und-heizoel-wieder-billiger-t5779916.html (in German)
Short: Gas prices falling again after short raise.

“Consumers are not educated on charging. They don’t know where to charge or don’t have a place to charge.”
IMHO that wouldn’t be such a big problem if EVs could be charged as fast as ICE vehicles. They would go to something like a gas station today and leave it within minutes with an 100% charged battery (and without problems like “No credit/debit cards accepted, only our customer cards”.
The last part of that sentences mentions the actual problem, which is that you currently need place where a) the car can be parked (sometimes even for hours) and b) has the right charger c) that you are allowed to use (currently too many customer cards instead of credit/debit card).

notting

To me the biggest thing right now killing EV’s is that is a reliable place to charge it while on a long distance trip.

Also a EV with a 200 mile range. In that as if now you can not drive a EV from rural areas of Virginia to your ob in the suburbs or the city of Richmond. In that a lot of people in my area do drive 30 and 50 miles one way to work due to the cost of land and housing. And as much as I might be a ev suport I to most likely will get dragged out 40 miles away from work if I want to or not due to housing prices.

Basically everyone in the above boat couldn’t own a current EV. Tesla doesn’t count in that that is at least a $50,000 dollar car.

They will start buying if a electric version is available in all vehicle type like car, crossover, suv, van, pickup and also from all automakers.

Instead if just few automakers sell it in few models, then people think that its not a mainstream vehicle.

Why not GM make an electric version of Malibu, Equinox, Tahoe, etc and see how everyone jump in and buy.

Range and its associated are by far the biggest problem…Very few are saying 100 miles aren’t enough, but 200 miles is…Even GM was quoted saying they only expect to sell 25K-30K Bolt EVs a year and that’s including their Lyft/Maven deliveries…

Many popular ICE cars can get 500 miles between fillups including the two best selling sedans, Accord and Camry and it only takes 3-10mins to refill them…Imagine if you had an EV that could do the same? Most SoCalers could pickup their friends and drive back and forth to Vegas, never charging on the journey…

To add GM, make some compelling vehicles! One’s with garage door openers, power seats, sunroofs, a sub-5 second 0-60, supercruise, etc…

I have driven a car and a motorcycle from coast to coast all the way across the USA that had little more than a 100 range. There were a couple of times when range was an issue but very seldom. No you’re wrong, charging availability and charging speed are much more important than vehicle range.

However, vehicle range does help mitigate some of the adverse affects of poor charging infrastructure.

My primarily source of transportation is my 76 mile rated FFE. My FFE works well for me on a day to day basis but that feeling of freedom I had with my gas cars knowing that I could just take off and drive for days on end is gone. I am willing to make sacrifices for energy security and for the environment but it’s very easy for me to understand people not wanting to give up the freedom of gas cars.

People may not “need” the range or the charging speed but people feel violated if you take away the freedom they feel with gas cars. Wide spread adoption of EVs will not happen until people get the same sense of freedom in an EV as they do in a gas car. I believe EVs will eventually achieve this sense of freedom but it will take time and until then us early adopters will have to continue to make sacrifices for the things we believe in.

As a young man I felt that I had to constantly be on the move to survive and to make my way in life. I believe this wander lust has been engrained in young people since the beginning of time. As I grew older I felt the need to make a stand and build a home but I still remember and sometimes feel the wander lust.

The desire to travel long distances at an early age is very strong. Reason is not going to overcome the desire for the freedom to travel. The argument that you don’t “need” an EV capable of long distance travel is no substitute for the freedom of long distance travel for young people.

Many EV advocates and politicians seam to think we can overcome this wander lust through education, that’s nonsense. How many times in history have we been taught the lesson that the best way to solve a problem is to give people what they want? As far as EVs are concerned, what people want is the freedom to travel long distances just like they can in gas cars.

Charging options are still limited. Just look at a Plugshare map of the US and then scroll over to Japan. It’s not even close.

Also people are cheap. Installing a home charger has a cost which gas cars don’t have.

After all, people preferred VHS to Beta because VHS was slightly cheaper, even though Beta picture quality was demonstrably better.

Price…
Range…
Fear of the unknown…(Nissans batterie issues did not help here)
Delearships whose fincanial intrests are best served buy NOT selling EVs…
Multiple charging standards caused by a goverment unwilling or uncapabile of making decisions in a timely maner in the best interest of their citizens…

None of the auto companies exactly helped the standards either…
Correct me if I am wrong but I beleive the CHADEMO standard was Japanese and orginaly prioperity with fees attached to it…
The rest of the world said we have engineers so screw you we will make our own free standard enter CCS…
After which CHADEMO was made free but the damage was done…
While Tesla has open patients I dont beleive they ever tried to submit their plug as the CCS standard or joined either group before the standards were created…
China certinaly did not help by creating a fourth standard when they could have adopted either of the free standards that already existed…

While Tesla has open patients I dont beleive they ever tried to submit their plug as the CCS standard or joined either group before the standards were created…

Incorrect. Tesla was part of the CCS development group, but withdrew when it became clear the group wouldn’t come to an agreement until after Tesla put the Model S into production.

It’s not that Tesla wanted to create its own charging format, it’s that Tesla was forced to do so.

So did Tesla ever offer there plug as the standard??
There is a huge difference between offering semi open pantents and offering your plug as a free and open standard…

“Why don’t consumers flock to these vehicles?”

Isn’t that like asking why consumers did not flock to cell phones in 1987?

Give it a few years. As EV tech improves and prices come down, they’ll start flocking.

In the meantime, I think everyone here knows several reasons why the average car buyer isn’t choosing a PEV. For one thing, there aren’t that many compelling PEVs available to buy.

400,000 Model 3 pre-sold a year before they hit the market.
It sounds to me like ppl ARE flocking to the right vehicle.
Sadly, the rest are simply junk.

Wait a minute, Nissan Leaf is not junk I’ve leased a 2012 Leaf and now lease a 2016 Leaf they are not junk. They are solid short distance transportation.

This comment is just Tesla idolatry, pure and simple. My FFE is also not junk, far from it. The FFE may not have sold well but it’s actually one of best, if not the best, cars I’ve ever owned and I have owned a lot of cars over the last forty years.

First, you have to have a dealer who wants to participate, then stock them, have them ready for a test drive and not parked in the service bay where you can only see one if you happened to see evidence of it on hteir website.

Second, I’ve seen hundreds of advertisements for Silverados, F150s and Ram trucks. I can’t say the same thing for electric cars though.