Past and present development of the electric vehicles (EV) industry has primarily been informed by dueling neoclassical and neo-Keynesian economic doctrines. This has resulted in vehicle subsidies and carbon taxes being the leading EV policies both at home and abroad. Such policies, however, have failed to adequately drive the development of EVs. Ultimately, EVs have serious cost and performance obstacles to overcome before they will be able to compete with conventional gas cars and only battery innovation can accomplish that goal.
In other words, forget bribing the customers, forget agonizing over carbon. You want to sell these things, you need to make them acceptable to Joe and Susan Sixpack, and apparently this is what they want [pdf]:
A 2010-2011 survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu that interviewed more than 13,000 people in 17 countries in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe, found a large gap between consumer expectations of electric vehicle capabilities and actual capabilities. In regard to vehicle range, while on average 80 percent of the drivers surveyed drove less than 50 miles on a typical day, more than half the respondents in all 17 countries would not even consider buying an electric vehicle with a per-charge-range of less than 200 miles. In the United States, 56 percent of respondents pegged 300 miles as the minimum range needed for them to consider buying an electric vehicle.
If I ever get back into World Tour mode, I’m going to need a 500-mile range, and there will have to be charging stations at every moderately-priced hotel along the way. I don’t anticipate this ever happening. Hybrids? No problem. But absent an amazing improvement in technology, I’m not even thinking of one of these battery-powered contraptions.
(Via Autoblog Green.)