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A simple but deadly problem facing the adoption of electric vehicles

Posting in Transportation

The widespread adoption of electric cars is not progressing as quickly as some governments and automakers would like. Limited battery capacity, generally high prices and a lack of charging infrastructure in cities have all contributed to turning consumers away from potential electric vehicle or hybrid car purchases.

However, there is one simple challenge which is proving to be one of the worst obstacles in enticing the general public to adopt the alternative to fossil fuel vehicles -- the fact that people simply don't know EVs exist.

According to a new survey released by Navigant Research, while most consumers will put two and two together when you say "electric car," ask them about today's EV models and they become stumped.

Over half of 1,084 consumers in the United States surveyed said they were in favor of EVs, but fewer were aware of specific models they could potentially purchase. Only 44 percent of respondents knew about the Chevrolet Volt, and fewer than one in four said they were even "somewhat familiar" with Tesla's Model S. Less than a third knew about the Nissan Leaf, Ford’s C-Max Energi and BMW's i3.

Less than ten percent say they are "extremely familiar" with the vehicles above.

"Two-thirds of consumers surveyed stated that they believe EVs have unique features that stand out from their gasoline counterparts, and six out of 10 agreed that EVs are much less expensive to own in the long run than gasoline cars," said Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. "While those are encouraging numbers, it's clear that automakers still have a long way to go in marketing these vehicles to the wider car-buying public."

EV automakers have much to combat to make the products appealing to consumers. While improving battery life and design is important, businesses should not forget the basics -- making sure the general public know about and understand the product.

Via: Fast Co.Exist 

Image credit: Tesla

— By on December 17, 2013, 12:01 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure