Some people still insist that the high price of electric cars is what's holding back adoption. However, with tax credits, incentives, fantastic lease deals, and information related to the true cost of EV ownership, the price may not be the real issue. Instead, good old range anxiety may still be working to deter people.
Alison Jones, senior vice president for UK operations of the new Stellantis Group (Citroën, DS, and Peugeot) recently spoke at an Autocar Business Live event. The topic was whether or not 2021 is the year of the electric car.
Jones said range concerns and a lack of charging infrastructure are the most obvious roadblocks to , bigger than the higher upfront price of EVs. However, she added that we still must educate car shoppers about the total cost of EV ownership compared with gas cars. Jones explained:
“For fleet customers, it’s an easier conversion, because considering total cost of ownership including the purchase price and running costs is how fleet customers manage. On the retail side [for private customers] it’s harder, because you have more variables."
Jones said potential EV owners are not really thinking about the total cost of ownership as much as they are having anxiety about the switch to an EV as a whole. It's a big step, usage can be different, and range anxiety and charging infrastructure concerns are very real. Jones told Autocar:
“The price you pay for a new electric vehicle isn't the only consideration for potential customers; there are other barriers that people are thinking about, which are maybe bigger barriers at this time.”
Citroën, DS, and Peugeot are developing cars on new PSA platforms that are able to use a gas engine, or be fully electric or a plug-in hybrid. This concept focuses on making sure a buyer can get whichever powertrain they desire. Jones concluded:
“We’ve had to do education for customers to show how they can live with [electric] vehicles. Incentives from governments have key in that push, both in terms of the plug-in grant [for buying an EV] and the potential benefits and incentives available for charging.
The other vital part is the infrastructure and making sure [that] in the future, it’s as easy to get electricity as it is [liquid] fuel.”