I find it interesting that respondents in the U.S would not be willing to pay $30,000 for an EV but we are willing to pay $40,000 to $50,000 for a big SUV. I drive an older Nissan Xterra, but I need it to haul my boat. Also it seems that a lot of people have concerns over the charging times. The article is right about hybrids being the best alternative for the near future. The article mentions government incentives to lure buyers to purchase EV's, but there will always be a section of the U.S. that will still balk at the idea of EV's, especially as long as politicians help fuel the debate over Global Climate Change.
A lot of these issues have to do with the culture in the U.S. We have the remnants of the old "Manifest Destiny" mindset. There is still the idea that there is always new land in America, and that we can always move to a new place if we mess up our old one. Secondly, we have to make sure that we are always "keeping up with the Jonses," and since their car is a giant expensive SUV, we better have one two. Thirdly, the culture doesn't have a lot of patience, so a 3 to 8 hour recharge time is just too high, even if it happens every night while people sleep.
One of the largest problems that puts us in this situation is all of the benefits and money that the government pours into the oil and gas industry. 4 out of the 5 companies which hold the highest gross revenues in history are Oil and Gas companies. I believe that if the government would stop providing these companies with these huge subsidies and benefits for offering their business to the US, then we could move away from the polluting lifestyle that we all live. Gas prices would increase so there would be more incentives for people to make an investment in an EV. Also ,all of the money that would be saved could be put towards something positive such as R&D for better EVs.
If the government put at least half of the money, tax breaks, and incentives towards EVs and hybrid vehicles and the research to establish better technology as they did the oil and coal industry, there would be a higher chance for some company or agency to establish ways to make more efficient batterries or charging stations. People are obviously unwiling to pay the current price for EVs, but they don't seem to take into account the future savings that will accrue to them on not paying for gasoline. One solution for fixing the problem of range would be a hybrid car that ran strictly on electricity for the first 100-200 miles (which i'm assuming is more than most people drive during their daily commute)and then have gasoline or some other form of energy (solar,hydrogen?) kick in after the initial 100-200 miles for longer journeys until the person arrives at a destination with a charging station. Another problem is infrastructure. How can you expect people to buy EVs if there is a limited amount of charging stations spread around the country? There needs to be an adequate amount of infrastructure before you can expect people to fully invest in the product. Unfortunately, the government doesn't seem to be investing in infrastructure like they are investing in nonrenewables.
I would have to agree with Tom in saying that in order for people to invest into a product there has to be a structure in place to provide refueling of EV cars. They are not beneficial for long distance travel or to people who live in rural areas because of the long charging times and lack of miles per charge. Also are EVs actually the way for the future? I believe people overlook the fact EVs run off electricity which is provided by burning coal that is retrieved by mountain top removal. There is also an un-willingness to pay due to the uncertainty as to how the lithium ion batteries will hold up over the years since these batteries have had the reputation of overheating which diminishes their ability to hold a charge.
It is going to be hard to get the ball rolling on EVs. People are so comfortable with what they have now that are apprehensive to change just for environmental benefits. They do not want to invest money on something that is expensive and yet less reliable then their current car or SUV. The government if going to have to step in and make is worth the public while to buy EVs. People will pay more the 30000 on current cars because they know it will get them from a to b no problem but the batteries on these cars makes people nervous. They won't risk it unless it is cheaper.
Maybe the EV producing companies should start a battery trade station. So instead of going to a gas station to buy gas you could trade in your battery for another one so that you could continue on your way. Sure there would be more stops along the way but it may be worth it for the clean energy opportunity. There would also be a lot of obvious problems with this but I'm sure that there is a way to solve all of them out there somewhere.
After the California Air Resource Board passed the Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate in the early nineties, GM started the production of the Saturn EV1. They never really wanted to produce it, but because of the mandate, had to. The car didn't provoke demand from consumers because it wasn't mass-marketed. GM saw it as a profit loss because of the lack of maintenance it requires and the lack of oil it needs (hidden agenda). Internal combustion engines regularly need maintaining, but EVs don't. They didn't try to create demand. They were meticulously trying to squash it because of the profits they could get from big SUVs, like the Hummer. A tax break on an EV was only $4,000 while a tax break for a Hummer was $100,000. However, the people that drove these cars loved them. The technology for longer-lasting batteries was there (Stan Ovshinsky had it it), and the implementation of charging stations had started (Californians Against Utilities crushed this--they were funded by oil companies). When the company took the cars back, people protested. The company eventually smashed all of them and focused on gas-guzzling vehicles and tried to pretend like the demand was non-existent (meanwhile the protesting EV lovers got arrested in the name of the car and collectively offered GM over a million dollars to buy them back--obviously rejected). The ZEV mandate was killed, the cars were gone, but the technology was and is still there. A lot of the reasons why it failed was because the people who were in charge of the marketing and production had hidden agendas, like oil and hydrogen fuel cells. This still holds true today. People are addicted to oil. The demand needs to be stimulated, perhaps through subsidies and tax breaks.
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