Electric Cars Contagious?
Just like any other product, once electric cars become less “weird” and are more commonly seen and understood, sales will inevitably pick up. If people drive by charging stations, see EVs at work, see EVs and chargers at local businesses, and especially see the vehicles in their own neighborhood, they are more likely to be interested in buying one.
This concept has been proven all too many times and there is data to support it. When a home has rooftop solar panels installed, chances are, other homes in the area will eventually have them too. The U.S. Department of Energy has shown that when employers add charging stations for employees, those employees are twenty times more to likely purchase an EV. If you give a mouse a cookie …
Anyway, Vox Technology shed some light on Christopher Mills’ recent post in The Wall Street Journal: “Why Electric Cars Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think.”
Mills points out the obvious factors that will influence the upward growth of EVs. The two primary points are, reduced cost and increased range. Both are contingent on battery technology, which is progressing rapidly.
Even possibly more persuasive though is the “everybody’s doing it” mentality. Some people prioritize keeping up with the Joneses. Others just need an opportunity to talk with a neighbor or co-worker to increase their understanding and comfort level. It has been found that dealerships need to get on board as well.
A California environmental group known as The Sierra Club performed a recent study with enlightening results. Members visited over 300 dealerships nationwide in an attempt to check out EV purchasing. Below is what they found out (all dealerships visited had at least one EV on site and were authorized to sell EVs):
- 42% of the dealerships did not have an EV prominently displayed
- 14% of dealerships didn’t have an electric car charged and ready to test drive
- 33% of dealerships didn’t mention federal and state tax incentives to the interested EV buyer
- Only half of the salespeople explained charging
Based on the Club’s findings, an attempt to educate dealerships took place. Simply making EVs more visible, providing EVs on the lot, ready for test drives, and certifying salespeople to explain the vehicles, charging, and incentives, would make a monumental difference.
Again, most people aren’t really heading to dealerships in search of EVs … yet. But the data shows that they will be soon enough, as prices continue to drop, range increases, EVs become more “normal”, and their neighbors, friends, and family start owning the vehicles. Dealerships need to be prepared now, because sales are up and the time is coming, sooner than later.