Celling points

An operation called the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation suggests that current government attempts to spur the sales of electric vehicles are doomed to fail:

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.)


  1. Jeffro »

    22 October 2012 · 5:58 pm

    But absent an amazing improvement in technology, I’m not even thinking of one of these battery-powered contraptions.

    Neither am I. Considering the distances I drive where cell phones are iffy, whiteouts during blizzards are not uncommon, and four wheel drive is pretty dern handy, I do not see how having a battery in zero degree weather is going to help me one bit.

    I’m sure I’m a Gaia killing monster, driving a 4wd pickup truck all by my lonesome out here, but I can get in and out of it, haul what I need when I need, and get through some pretty rough stuff when I need to. Afford two vehicles? I wish. It’s one or nothing, and I choose the one that fits my needs. Electric or hybrid vehicles aren’t going to cut it.

  2. McGehee »

    22 October 2012 · 5:59 pm

    Range* and availability are only two of the three stumbling blocks for me — the third being that recharging takes hours instead of a few minutes as at a gas station.

    Gasoline will endure as a fuel as long as it’s available, precisely because you can get hundreds of miles worth of energy for a few minutes’ stopping time.

    *I’ve gotten more comfortable in recent years with the idea of driving well over 500 miles in a day. That’s what happens when I live 1,000 miles from any place I want to go.

  3. jsallison »

    23 October 2012 · 8:05 pm

    Living in Lawton, working in OKC, if your EV du’jour isn’t talking at least 300 miles/charge forget it. And it better be able to charge at my house, overnight. It’s 186 miles, round trip to work and back. Allow for wife-unit directed diversions for this, that and the other either coming or going.

    Oh yeah, when I get to Newcastle all bets are off as the stupid usually starts there on the way in, and ends there on the way out, every day.

  4. CGHill »

    23 October 2012 · 8:25 pm

    My own Bataan Death Drive was an 806-mile day, from Albuquerque to Redondo Beach. (A left turn was involved.)

RSS feed for comments on this post