By on May 25, 2011

Gallup has just released a new poll asking Americans to rate their likelihood of making certain lifestyle changes based on different hypothetical gas prices. The result: 57 percent refuse to consider buying an “electric car that you could only drive for a limited number of miles at one time” no matter how high gas prices go. Only moving or changing jobs encountered more resistance. Clearly betting the farm on pure EVs is going to face some challenges…

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136 Comments on “Survey Says: 57% Of Americans Won’t Buy EVs Regardless Of Gas Prices...”


  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Name any one type of vehicle (other than sedans, and maybe pickups) and at least 57% of Americans wouldn’t ever consider buying one.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      That’s interesting.

      Along my commute, I was alongside an auto carrier that was hauling brand-new Chevy and GMC pickups. I looked, and staring at me longingly, was a drop-dead gorgeous fire-engine red, short bed, standard-cab, bright chrome grille, chrome wheels and chrome bumper GMC truck imploring me to “take me home!”

      I couldn’t foot the bill. No deal.

      …it was beautiful.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Hatchbacks.

      Probably the most logical configuration of a (smaller) car, but in the US, we seem to stay away from them like they were radioactive…

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Oh I forgot. Minivans.

      People only seem to have to buy them. When was the last time you heard anyone say: Oh, it’s time for a new vehicle, let’s see what the Dodge Grand Caravan looks like this year… Most often they’ll say: I’ve got four kids (or a spouse in a wheelchair if they’re older) and I got a really good deal on this one!

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    And 40% won’t buy a significantly higher MPG rated vehicle. This chart proves either Americans are insanely wealthy, don’t care about spending money foolishly, or are just downright stubborn/stupid. What’s more interesting in a glass half empty-half full way is that that at $6 bucks a gallon (a likely future in a few years) 12% of people will buy an EV. Another dollar and you’re at 22%. That’s enough to start making EV technology a private entity goal.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      No, it proves that most people will find other ways to cut gasoline usage without buying an expensive vehicle with severe limitations in its usefulness and abilities.

      Buying a vehicle simply for its fuel economy, while ignoring other important aspects (comfort, safety and performance for starters) is shortsighted at best, and downright dumb at worst.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        So…..If I owned a 2012 Mazda 6 manual and traded it for a VW Passat Manual is killing my comfort, safety, and performance? I don’t believe the argument was “sell your expedition and go camping with 4 kids and a literal ton of gear in a prius.’ Which is effectively straw-maning the whole argument. The argument is if a vehicle is offered with a substantial increase in MPG in the same class or similar class is that not a valid argument?

        I know the question is specifically vague and open ended but as more hybrid options come about and the reality sets in that very few citizens need a massive SUV for daily commutes the rise in MPG will become a driving force.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Or, alternatively, the people willing to buy a significantly higher MPG rated vehicle have already done so, probably the last time gas hit $ZOMFG/gal. I mean, gas prices got this high three years ago, you know. My main commuter vehicle is a 250cc motorcycle. They don’t make a significantly higher MPG rated vehicle unless you’re talking about the kind of vehicle that you pedal. If I was asked that question, what the hell am I supposed to answer?

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      People realize that it’s penny-wise, pound-foolish to dump a perfectly-good car which meets their daily needs in order to buy a much smaller, much less powerful car at a premium.

      Last time gas was high, all of the idiots who dumped their SUVs for econoboxes probably learned this lesson after taking a $5k to $10k bath in the process.

      The rational time to consider higher mileage vehicles is if you’re already planning to replace a car.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Buying a different vehicle because of gas prices is a dumb idea. If you pay off your vehicle, it is likely cheaper to own it a few more years and trade when you are ready to.

      • 0 avatar
        M 1

        Steven, Steven, Steven. This is *the future*. Don’t you get it? If we don’t do as we’re told, we’re merely “downright stupid.”

        If you can’t get people to buy something because they want it, then you get government to increase the pain level until they have no choice to comply.

        I love the future! (Apparently, that is the only option.)

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Shouldn’t be surprising to anyone with even a small amount of common sense (except for some automaker CEOs, apparently.) And I think the percentage might actually be a lot higher than that when people are asked to put money where their mouth is, i.e. to actually buy an electric vehicle.

    EVs as currently existed just have too many disadvantages compared to regular gas or diesel powered vehicles. Limited range that can only be refilled in 8 or more hours? More expensive than regular car? Less performance? And for what, just to be “environmentally friendly”? Not to mention the actual ‘earth saving’ benefit depends on what source of fuel is used to generate the electricity. Plus the additional resources needed to make the EV itself (toxic batteries that need disposing someday, etc.), the actual impact of an EV vs regular car is not as big as it may initially seem. Just too much sacrifice for not so big benefit, I guess, at least for the average people.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      And for what, just to be “environmentally friendly”?

      Um, no. Some of us prefer to send less money to King Abdullah and Hugo Chavez.

      • 0 avatar
        raven1462

        And some of us would gladly pay extra just to not have to stand out in the cold and pump gas in the middle of winter. If it is environmentally friendly then bonus!

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        And some of us just happen to like the kind and size of cars that . . . . . incidentally . . . . . . are starting to pull 40mpg EPA ratings. Small cars with light weight, manual transmissions, and reasonably quick handling.

        For what I look for in a car, high fuel mileage is just an additional perk.

  • avatar
    kwong

    Seems to me that Americans do not make the most economically-savvy decisions. I’m extremely economically conservative and always have been an efficiency nut. I drove a 97 Nissan Maxima in high school that put out 220hp and still averaged 25mpg. In 2004 I bought a used VW TDI in an experiment to run recycled vegetable oil as fuel prices crept above $1.30/gallon. I would buy an EV not matter the price of oil, but I will always keep my diesel for the long distances trips I take. I understand there are some pure car nuts out there and there are some great cars out there. But I’ve always been about efficiency, whether it’s fuel economy, engine output, or overall performance.

    However, I can understand 57% not interested in EVs if their geography doesn’t cooperate with the EV range and conditions. Living in sunny southern California where my daily driving is less than 70 miles per day during the weekday, I would welcome an EV. Again, I’ll need to keep my TDI for the Sunday and Saturday when I drive more than 300 miles each weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      What is economically savvy to you may not be to someone else. Don’t belittle people you don’t even know by appointing yourself as the arbiter of value/not-value. No one else knows what makes sense for you so don’t assume you know best for them.

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      The way I look at it, buying a vehicle that requires you to keep a backup vehicle is not exactly economically savvy. I’ll grant that you seem to buy used and keep your vehicles a long time, but many/most people don’t. Depreciation is the single largest financial cost of buying a new vehicle, so buying one that requires you have a second vehicle also depreciating is not a particularly smart move, regardless of fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      It is more economically-savvy to have one car with reasonable fuel economy, than to need to purchase 2 cars because one is an EV.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      “I drove a 97 Nissan Maxima in high school that put out 220hp and still averaged 25mpg.”

      Keen, 220 HP? Heavens.

      I have a bone-stock 1955 Buick that weighs 4600 pounds, seats six comfortably, originally put out 305 HP (I wouldn’t be real surprised if it’s about 220 HP today), and will run a steady 20 MPG highway.

      Oh, the grand, glorious future we live in.

  • avatar
    sitting@home

    Talk about a loaded question. It’d be interesting to see how different the result would be if they removed the “that you could only drive for a limited number of miles” part or at least qualified it with some less scaremongering “with a 100 mile daily range”.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      +1 this survey is flawed for this very reason. Nobody knows what “limited” means in this statement. Technically all vehicles have a limited range in miles, but the wording in the survey makes it sound like EVs can only reach the next block before being recharged.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      We don’t have BEVs on sale with a 100-mile daily range. The Leaf is only good for 60-70 miles in the real world; less if any portion are highway.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Ugh, these commenters are driving me crazy. “EVs are STUPID derp derp”

    The EV is best suited as a SECOND car in a household with another gas powered vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Not really. The inability to do two sets of weekend errands means it can’t be the SECOND car for many households.

      The EV is best suited as the THIRD car in a household with multiple other gas-powered vehicles. It’s a luxury / pleasure vehicle, replacing a track toy or offroader.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        The inability to do two sets of weekend errands means it can’t be the SECOND car for many households.

        Oh yeh, because the median family often has both adults having to drive more than 100 miles at the same time.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        I agree with SVX pearlie. It doesn’t have to happen all the time, but just happening once is a bad idea. Someone has to take a trip out of town, now the other person is limited in what they can do.

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        Agree with SVX on this. I can think of a number of occasions in the past 8 months where my wife and I had to do separate trips that exceeded the round trip range of the Leaf, primarily because of the lack of recharge stations and/or length of time to recharge. I am not opposed whatsoever to the Leaf and find it a fascinating vehicle, but as Steven says, just one incident is one too many.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        just one incident is one too many.

        That’s like buying an F-150 vs. an Accord for the once a year trip to home depot that couldn’t be accommodated with the wife’s minivan. Argue it if you want, but it doesn’t make any logical sense.

      • 0 avatar
        cackalacka

        Two sets of weekend errands?

        Jeebus, when did we get the typical fortitude and entitlement of an Orange County housewife?

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        jmo – not getting your point at all. Perhaps you can clarify. I drive an Accord that is used primarily for commuting, but, as one example, I also use it on weekends to travel to my over-30 baseball league (70 miles r/t) while my wife takes the kiddies to grandma’s house (85 miles r/t) in her Taurus X. The Leaf would suffice for my purposes for about 90% of the way I use a car. That other 10%, as illustrated above, is when it would be useless to me. An efficient Accord, that does everything I ask of it while i get to row my own gears, makes more sense for my lifestyle.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        while my wife takes the kiddies to grandma’s house (85 miles r/t) in her Taurus X.

        Your wife couldn’t charge the Leaf at grandma’s?

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        jmo – I suppose she could if she planned on staying overnight. For a 4 or 5 hour visit, probably not, based on the charging times in Dykes’ 3-day Leaf extravaganza. If the Leaf is your cup of tea, go for it my man. I think the Leaf is cool as hell, but it’s a non-starter (pun intended) for my family’s lifestyle. You can argue that all you want, but it doesn’t make any logical sense for me.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Jmo, does grandma have a charging station? Quit trying to nit-pick the choices of others. An EV and won’t be a one-size-fits-all vehicle for a long time.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        “Jeebus,

        when did we get the typical fortitude and entitlement of an Orange County housewife?”

        You’re a day late for the Rapture.

        My wife *is* an Orange County housewife – we actually do live in OC, and I’ll thank the lot of you not to cast aspersions toward her.

      • 0 avatar
        cackalacka

        Well, that explains the necessity of some households being able to concurrently drive >70 miles to go to the mall.

        Some days I wonder why I’m the only man on my street who does his own yard work. Then I see threads like this one and the veil of doubt is lifted.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        You’re not from around here, are you…

        LA Metro is a big place that practically defines the word “sprawl”. You can easily “need” to hit 2 or 3 locations 20+ miles apart in one day.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        For a 4 or 5 hour visit, probably not, based on the charging times in Dykes’ 3-day Leaf extravaganza. If the Leaf is your cup of tea, go for it my man. I think the Leaf is cool as hell, but it’s a non-starter (pun intended) for my family’s lifestyle.

        Based on the charge times from a standard wall outlet, a trip of 85 miles with a 4-5 hour charge time is easily doable. It seems that you’re arguing in bad faith, or at the very least attempting to argue facts not in evidence.

        Quit trying to nit-pick the choices of others.

        I’m not the one trying to argue that it won’t work for most people when the facts are that it would work for upwards of 60% of the two car family new car buying public.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Jmo, you’re the one who is arguing in bad faith here. You want to stuff everyone into the electric car fits their lifestyle category. We are just defending our choice from you. Let those who want an EV and can make it work in their lives get one nad be happy. But stop trying to shame, badger and force the rest of us into one. We are more than capable of making that choice ourselves.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        “Based on the charge times from a standard wall outlet, a trip of 85 miles with a 4-5 hour charge time is easily doable”

        @jmo: Based on the actual data, that’s not true at all.

        Your 85 miles requires 70 mile base range which precludes any normal highway driving or hills.

        In the real world, Car and Driver is getting 60 miles per charge, what with having the temerity and sheer audacity to drive on highways like a normal car.

        Given the 19-hour full-charge time at 120V, a 4.5 hour charge would recharge about 1/4 of the pack, adding another 15 miles of range.

        So the real world range for for a 4+ hour stop at grandmas is about 75 miles round trip.

        If you take grandma out to lunch, then that’s another 5-10 miles traveled and an hour of charging lost, capping the day’s door-to-door round trip distance at 60-65 miles.

        Like most Nissan Leaf talk, it’s oversell and underdeliver.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Car and Driver

        Ah yes, the totally unbiased final arbiter of all things automotive.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        jmo if that’s the best you can do, you lose. What’s wrong with Car and Driver? They’re not to be believed just because you don’t say what you want?

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        @jmo: I’m sorry, the problem with C&D is that they’re not testing the Leaf on a flat track with heater and AC off?

        That they’re trying to use it in the real world like a real car?

        That the Nissan Leaf doesn’t meet the hype that Nissan’s been spewing?

        That the Nissan Leaf is demonstrably not as functional as a normal car or Chevy Volt in the real world?

        Is that the issue you have with them?

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        @jmo: I’m sorry, the problem with C&D is that they’re not testing the Leaf on a flat track with heater and AC off?

        Certainly not – C&D is a 100% unbiased authority that no right thinking person has reason to doubt. Never have they erred even once in their long and storied history.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        the best you can do, you lose.

        Well when I have people using wildly implausible worst case scenarios, yes I guess I do.

        That’s why we have two Suburbans in our family – never know when we’re each going to need to transport 6 passengers, while towing a boat, 500 miles without stopping, through a blizzard. I firmly believe that everyone needs to base their car buying decisions on implausible worst case scenarios.

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        jmo –
        Actually, I’m not arguing at all, just stating my personal views regarding EVs. According to Dykes’ Day 3 experience, getting a full charge from “empty” was going to take 31 hours from a standard wall outlet, which is what granny has since she doesn’t have a charging station.

        Look, again, the way my family operates, the Leaf would work most of the time, but not all of the time. And that’s key. My wife stays home with our two toddlers. Believe me when I tell you that she has enough chaos to deal with without adding range anxiety and sitting with tired/hungry/restless kids while the Leaf charges up in the driveway.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        “Well when I have people using wildly implausible worst case scenarios, ”

        @jmo: Excuse me, but WHAT?

        When I cross-reference C&D’s results against other real-world results (the nissanleaf forum), C&D seems to be more-or-less in line with what others report (up to 60-70 miles real-world range). Some of the numbers are even more pessimistic than what C&D reports. And there’s no obvious reason for C&D to report anything other than their actual experiences.

        Given that, how about you explain how C&D is somehow biased.
        Explain what’s “wildly implausible” about the scenarios given, and why they’re “worst case”.

        Go on, I’m curious to see how you rebut them, given that THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A NISSAN LEAF AND HAVE BEEN DRIVING IT.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Go on, I’m curious to see how you rebut them, given that THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A NISSAN LEAF AND HAVE BEEN DRIVING IT.

        Ohhh – all caps!

        I’d imagine they tend to drive far more agressively than would be typical of a mom taking the kids to see grandma.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        You’ve been reduced to sarcasm jmo, that’s a good sign you have nothing left. You’re losing the arguement and facts aren’t on your side so please quit now while you’re behind.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        My wife stays home with our two toddlers. Believe me when I tell you that she has enough chaos to deal with without adding range anxiety and sitting with tired/hungry/restless kids while the Leaf charges up in the driveway.

        Were are the kids restless to go? How often is she having to drive more than would be possible with a Leaf and a 240 volt charger?

        I just think people are looking at the maybe once a year scenarios, rather than the 99.9% scenarios.

        I’d liken it to someone in coastal NC opting for AWD because it snows once a year. I’m not sure that kind of thinking makes too much sense when buying a car.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        that’s a good sign you have nothing left

        Is it so hard to believe that C&D drives a vehicle more aggressively than a mom taking the kids to see grandma?

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        I’d liken it to someone in coastal NC opting for AWD because it snows once a year. I’m not sure that kind of thinking makes too much sense when buying a car.

        Jmo, I understand now, you just hate choice. You think that everyone ought to see the infinite wisdom that is you. Too much choice offends your kind, evil consumerism and all. Bet you loved the Great Leaps Forward in China. Everyone dressed like Chairman Mao, on bicycles and eating the same rice all the time. What you really meant to say was that that kind of thinking different from yours doesn’t make much sense when buying a car.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Jmo, I understand now, you just hate choice.

        Hah, not at all. Everyone should obviously have a choice – I just think it would be wise for people to make choices based on what works 99.9% of the time rather than 0.1% of the time.

        Also, honestly, if Saudi instability and the rise of China and India send prices to $9/gallon and everyone could just deal with it, I’d be fine. In reality, what will happen is that nearly every voter will go clamoring to the government to “do something” for “the children”. If everyone would just suck it up and deal with their choices, I’d be fine.

        But, we all know that’s not how the electorate works. That being the case, maybe we should move toward having a backup plan in place with an installed base of vehicles that don’t rely on Hugo Chavez or King Abdulla.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        So, you pretty much said in that last answer that choice is fine as long as it’s your choice. Do what you want and you’re good, otherwise very bad. One more thing, do you ever make a choice that’s not the most logical one? If you do, why don’t you let the rest of us do that too.

        I haven’t seen anyone whining about oil prices, the Saudis or anything else here. We just want to be free to choose what we want to choose without any nannying from your kind. Give us that, we’re adults, we will live with our choices.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        I haven’t seen anyone whining about oil prices, the Saudis or anything else here

        And if that remains the case when gas hits $9/gallon, then I’ll gladly admit that I was wrong.

        We shall see.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Ok, whatever, you won’t listen to reason or even try to see another perspective, so you’re hopeless. You are doing what you accuse others of doing here, the 0.01% chance thing. Gas isn’t $9.00/gallon yet so don’t assume what will happen if it does. Look you’re not God, you don’t know the future and you have no qualifications to tell other people how they ought to live their lives. So just quit, no one is listening and you just sound like a Chicken Little crank. You dern kids, get off my lawn!

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Look you’re not God, you don’t know the future

        That’s why no sane person plans for retirement – who can know the future? It certainly doesn’t make sense to plan for what is likely to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I know the past. People with a certain political agenda have been predicting peak oil and diminishing supply for 37 years, and there is more known oil now than ever before.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I know the past. People with a certain political agenda have been predicting peak oil and diminishing supply for 37 years, and there is more known oil now than ever before.

        Yep, since the fifties those crazies have been predicting that peak oil would happen around now. I wonder why they’re spending so much on inefficient methods of oil recovery like offshore and SAGD drilling and oil sands when there’s such a surplus, and I wonder why those in power find so much value in Iraq and Iran? It’s as though they don’t realize our oil supply is almost infinite.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        @jmo: I said: ‘Explain what’s “wildly implausible” about the scenarios given, and why they’re “worst case”.’

        You then said:

        “I’d imagine they tend to drive far more agressively than would be typical of a mom taking the kids to see grandma.”

        First, C&D doesn’t continuously road test their cars.

        Second, a mom taking the kids to see grandma 85 miles RT is likely to cover 70 miles highway, rather than taking the backroads. This cuts her travel time roughly in half, not a minor point when you’ve got two restless kids in the back seats. Those 70 highway miles at a sustained 70 mph is going to be “far more aggressive” on the battery than what C&D staffers would have gotten in mixed driving.

        Point of fact: the Leaf simply cannot cover 70 miles at 70 mph, short of it being downhill with a 50+ mph tailwind. Nissan themselves say, at 55 mph (with less than half the aerodynamic drag), the Leaf is good for 50 to 75 miles. Factoring against the more than doubled aerodynamic drag at 70 mph, the Leaf range should cut down to something like 30 to 50 miles, with a likely range more like 30 to 40 miles.

        If driven like a normal car, in all likelihood the Leaf would completely exhaust its battery simply driving to grandma’s house, requiring a full 19-hour recharge in order to drive home.
        ____

        “I just think people are looking at the maybe once a year scenarios, rather than the 99.9% scenarios.”

        First off, once per year is 1/365 = 0.27%, not 0.1%.

        Second, the scenarios we are looking at are in the range of once per week (1/7 = 14.3%) to once per month (12/365 = 3.2%). These are *very* reasonable things to plan on.

        Third, if we look at a real “once a year scenario”, then we look at a vacation from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. This is simply not possible in a Leaf, much less a more desirable trip up north to San Francisco, nor even a short drive down to San Diego. OTOH, if one has a normal car, one can jump in the car Friday night after work and be in Vegas that same evening. Not unrealistic, and a *lot* of Angelenos do Vegas weekends more than once a year in their normal cars.
        ____

        “if Saudi instability and the rise of China and India send prices to $9/gallon and everyone could just deal with it”

        Seriously? And you’re the one who was talking claiming others were making wildly unrealistic worst case scenarios?

        Gas touched $4/gal this year, and is retreating from that point. If you look at the DOE numbers, and project forward, we’re simply not going to hit $9/gal in the next 5+ years.

        By what method are you rationally predicting $9/gal gas in the next 2 or 3 years? A lot of economists would be very interested here. If you are right, there is a *tremendous* amount of money to be made on Wall Street and Chicago Commodities. We’re talking BILLIONS. Go on, explain.
        ____

        Quite frankly, you have zero credibility. You’re running around like chicken little, with wildly unrealistic scenarios that make zero sense. You don’t even know the facts in the real world. By what measure should anybody take you (or any other EV nut) seriously?

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        SVX, thanks for saying it better than I could have.

        jmo is a persistent little bastard, I’ll give him that. Anyway, 99.9% is jmo’s number, not mine. The instances where my wife and I have to drive our cars separately on relatively (relative to this discussion about limited-range EVs) long trips are common enough that a Leaf would either be impossible to use at worst or extremely inconvenient at best. This isn’t the “4WD Expedition in Florida in case it snows” scenario, not even close.

        What’s comical is that I’m not even opposed to EVs and I think the Leaf is a seminal vehicle. But, there needs to be advancement in battery technology and infrastructure before EVs can become a mainstream choice.

        One last point about range is that I live in the Boston metro area and traffic is a huge consideration. That 85 miles r/t to grandma’s house can always have that pleasant surprise of oppressive summer traffic, road work delays, etc. Watching that “distance to empty” display creep closer to zero as you inch along in bumper to bumper traffic would be a disaster since they aren’t selling electrons at the Exxon station off the next exit.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        Thanks, PartsUnknown.

        I consider myself an EV skeptic, given the sheer amount of BS that the EV nuts spew. If they would give a rational argument, I’d be more sympathetic.

        IMO, jmo is typical of the vocal EV crowd. High on emotion, high on feelings, low on facts, low on intelligence.

        That’s why he avoids the hard questions like the plague. He has no ability to rebut me. But what I don’t get is why he keeps coming back to say something even stupider.

        If I were an actual EV sympatizer, I’d want to strangle him for making the rest of the EV people look like a bunch of known-nothing morons.

        And WRT the Leaf, my issue is that the marketing *consistently* oversells and underdelivers. If the Leaf had been marketed as a car with a 40-50-mile usable range, and people were consistently getting 60-70 with careful driving, it’d be a success. Instead, Nissan kept touting 100 miles, then 70 miles, when they had to know it wouldn’t be realistic in the real world. It’s almost like Ford and Hyundai promising “40 mpg”, and then wondering why people get upset that city driving is less than 30 mpg.

  • avatar

    People always lie to these surveys. And the reliability took an enormous plunge in recent years. So only actual sales matter, not declared intentions.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      I don’t even answer the damned things. And neither does anyone whose opinion I value, which tells me all I need to know about the results in toto.

  • avatar
    segfault

    The fact that 69% wouldn’t consider moving closer to work is pretty astonishing. Many people have very long commutes and could significantly reduce their commuting time and vehicle expenses, and increase their happiness (cite: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2010/03/the-secret-to-happiness-marriage-and-a-short-commute/25012/ ) if they lived closer to work.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Most people buy houses as close to work as they can afford. Closer, more desirable housing is vastly more expensive than housing farther away.

      Housing values are at their lowest value in over a decade, and not expected to recover in the near future. So selling one’s house locks in a big financial loss.

      Not to mention the basic transactional costs of taxes, fees, etc.

      Uprooting one’s life *and* taking a bath on a house to the tune of $50k to $100k in order to save a few bucks of gasoline is probably the height of stupidity.

      • 0 avatar
        Dekinorman

        Sorry, SVX, but I don’t think that the economic considerations that you are claiming are valid. 69% would not move closer whatever the cost of commuting. No price is too high, apparently, to get 69% of people to move. This sounds ridiculous, so I am sure that this survey is flawed in it’s application or the truthfulness of the answers. I am sure that if it costs more than your mortgage to fill up each month, then moving will look pretty attractive to at least 50% of respondents.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        SVX pearlie: “Most people buy houses as close to work as they can afford. Closer, more desirable housing is vastly more expensive than housing farther away.

        Housing values are at their lowest value in over a decade, and not expected to recover in the near future. So selling one’s house locks in a big financial loss.”

        Then, right now is the perfect time to move. Say, before crash, you live in a $300k house 50 miles from work. A better house at 30 miles would cost $500k. The difference is $200k. After crash, the $300k one became $200k and the $500k one became $333k (both dropped 1/3). The difference is $133k. Most people’s salary didn’t drop as much as the house price. It’s actually far easier to move closer to work than ever.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Most people buy houses as close to work as they can afford.

        Often they chose between 1800 sq/ft and 30 min and 3600 sq/ft and 90 min.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        So people should move, puts kids in different schools, spend lots of money on a new home to save gas prices? Seriously? If it becomes that big a problem where gas consumption is more than the mortgage, it means that A, the mortgage is a steal, or B, there are very very bad things happening in the economy.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        If it becomes that big a problem where gas consumption is more than the mortgage, it means that A, the mortgage is a steal, or B, there are very very bad things happening in the economy.

        I have a co-worker who was spending $900/month on gas last time prices peaked. That’s way more than the mortgage on the median priced home in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        wsn,
        The 133k difference doesn’t include what you might lose selling the home. If you have a mortgage still at 250k, that number becomes 188k more. Depending where you live, taxes are based on the value of the home and change year to year. When it hits an upswing, many may not be able to swing the extra taxes.

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        SVX is right on here. I live in a Boston suburb and my commute, by car and train, is 1 hour 15 min door to door, one way. I could sell my house and move to a closer ‘burb that’s either way too expensive (the toniest towns lost the least market value in recent years) or is too close (higher crime rates, worse schools, fewer amenities). I don’t like my commute, but we have a nice home in a peaceful neighborhood with lots of open space, great schools, town beaches, etc. I wouldn’t move solely to reduce my commute by xx minutes or to save xx dollars; there are many more things to consider.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Steven02, it doesn’t work for everyone. But still there are a significant percentage of people whose family finance isn’t all that bad.

        To pay for 20% down for the 333k house, you would need 66.7k. So you need a net equity of 66.7k with the existing house. In other words, if you have no more than 133k mortgage outstanding on your first house (which was purchased at 300k and now worth 200k), you can comfortably move up and this whole crash thing is actually good for you.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        “Say, before crash, you live in a $300k house 50 miles from work. A better house at 30 miles would cost $500k. The difference is $200k. After crash, the $300k one became $200k and the $500k one became $333k (both dropped 1/3). The difference is $133k.”

        @wsn: Looking at Metro LA experiences, your numbers don’t hold water. Good neighborhoods mostly held value. Outlying neighborhoods dropped like a stone. This is why the 3 Rules of Real Estate are Location, Location, Location.

        Corona, CA is a good example of one of those houses 50 miles from work, and houses dropped from $500k down to $300k (-40%). Newport Beach, CA is an area where values held, dropping from $800k down to $700k (-13%).

        If you bought in Corona in 2005-2006, and want to move to Newport Beach today, assuming you put 10% down, you are paying a $450k mortgage on a home worth $300k, trying to add another $400k in mortgage.

        Not gonna happen.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        @wsn: pretending that your numbers hold, with 20% down on the original $300k house, that’s a $240k mortgage on a house worth $200k. Selling this house, not only do you lose your $60k downpayment, you lock in the loss at -$40k *negative* equity.

        Pretending you can move with zero down (haha) into that $367k house, and need to cover $40k in losses, so the new amount to finance is $407k instead of $240k. So your mortgage payment just went up by 70%.

        And BTW, if you’re not making roughly $100k/year, you’re not going to qualify for that $400k mortgage, whereas even at $60k, you easily qualified for the $240k mortgage.

        The number of six-figure jobs in today’s high-unemployment economy is vanishingly small and shrinking.

        Sorry, it’s not good.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        @SVX pearlie

        Your calculation (of 240k mortgage and -40k if sold at 200k) is making the assumption that it’s a fresh purchase and no equity has been built. As I stated before, it’s not for everyone. But works for people with 133k or less mortgage remaining, then the 67k net equity is good for 20% of the closer home. Please pay more attention to my clearly stated assumptions.

        Yes, the mortgage will double from 133k to 266k. But it’s not entirely a cost. You are building wealth as well. The housing market will soon or later recover. The extra payment you put in will remain in the house.

        And you will save some gas and time every day as a bonus.

        P.S. As for your argument that houses in better locations dropped less, in a way it’s also a proof what I said is true. People (maybe those who paid off their existing mortgage) are doing exactly what I said, thus keeping those in good location relatively high. The US of A is becoming more polarized in terms of wealth, but not poorer.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        @wsn: It appears to me that you know nothing about buying a home.

        I’ll be generous and assume a purchase in 2005, for 6 years of payments into a 30-year $240k mortgage. If you look at standard tables of interest:principal, with a standard triangular principal:equity conversion, after 6 years, the buyer will have built up a 2% equity stake. Out of the original $240k, they will have increased their equity by less than $5k. Being more generous than the bank, we’ll round up to $5k. Or, more precisely, they will have reduced the outstanding principal from $240k down to $235k.

        At $200k, the house itself is worth $100k less than the original $300k purchase price, so there is NO equity value there.

        Rather than coming in with a $40k loss on the house, they will come in with a $35k loss.

        Where is the rest of your equity coming from?

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        “As for your argument that houses in better locations dropped less, in a way it’s also a proof what I said is true. People (maybe those who paid off their existing mortgage) are doing exactly what I said, thus keeping those in good location relatively high.”

        @wsn: WHAT?

        If you look at reality of the housing crash, you find that those who never would have qualified for traditional mortgages being foreclosed out. These people were marginal buyers and bought in the cheap areas, and couldn’t afford the balloon payments when the mortgage transitioned from Interest Only to Traditional Interest+Principal, or they couldn’t handle the ARM resetting. So those cheap houses crashed hard.

        The hard crash in those newer outlying neighborhoods destroyed what little equity that their “good” neighbors had built up (by taking their $300k homes from $400k down to $200k), and putting them under water.

        In the “better” neighborhoods, there were proportionally fewer weaker new buyers coming in, more established homeowners, and better intrinsic fundamental real estate value in the land / location.

        The really prudent people had the discipline not to buy at the top of the market, and banked their money. They are buying now, along with the strong investors and hard foreign money. Home prices being more attractive allows them to buy in the good locations, so those prices stay up.

        But make no mistake, this isn’t helping people trade up from homes which lost 30+% of their value from the 2007 peak.

    • 0 avatar
      ...m...

      …urban housing is ridiculously expensive; i’d make a point to turn that proposition on its head and find work within five minutes of one’s home, instead…

      …i think in the late eighties and nineties we started seeing a few large urban employers experiment with locating satellite operations in the suburbs, and over the last decade that strategy has grown into a substantial stealth movement…sure, it’s a never-ending chase of commerce driving up nearby housing costs, pushing the residential population further away, which in turn draws commerce further out from its original commercial center, so it’s interesting to watch commercial and residential densities evolve across a metropolitan area over generations, but short of low-key mid-density real-estate pricing stabilities i think that’s just the nature of the beast…

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Here again, it’s what’s important to the individual. I live 23 miles from my job – because I insist on living in a rural area where my yard is ten acres of woods, I can leave the back door of the house unlocked 24/7 without worrying, and I don’t have to put up with all the ‘neat’ features of the urban lifestyle (police, homeless, dirt, etc.).

      I can bicycle to work if I feel like it (and do so one day a week during the summer season). Unless it’s seriously raining, a motorcycle or scooter is the preferred commuter. Living closer to work (aka, the west end suburbs of Richmond, or urban Richmond itself) would definitely LOWER my personal happiness.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    As far as long commutes go and moving closer to where one works, there are several factors that prevent this – as long as people have choices.

    1. They like where they live.
    2. The cities near downtown are not attractive due to crime and perceived danger.
    3. Inferior/ancient, crumbling housing.
    4. Wanting to live among one’s “own kind” or “class” on a social level, whether racially diverse or not. Not necessarily to race, but that does come into play, like it or not.
    5. “I’d move back into the city if…” – you first!

    Me? I will be facing a 100-mile R/T commute by September 1st, and we’re not moving, although northern Kentucky by the greater Cincinnati airport has many neighborhoods that are newer than where I live. Why? I’m getting near retirement and to move and re-establish ourselves for the sake of a few years doesn’t make sense (right now), compared to what we’ve enjoyed for the last 19 years.

    However, I never say “never!” – too much life experience, I know better. The only constant in life is change, so I keep my mind w-i-d-e open!

    • 0 avatar
      racebeer

      One other factor right now is the poor condition of the housing market. With values down to the point where a fairly large percentage of owners are underwater on their loan, they really don’t have a viable option to move to an alternate location.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Yeah, if you look at the statistical breakdown in the article, lower-income households surveyed as more likely to move than higher-income ones. Well, no shit: they’re renting.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        That too…Fortunately, our house is almost paid off, and houses in our neighborhood have held their value, as they are in the “sweet spot” of the market. It helps when we moved to the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, we wanted nothing to do with the “McMansions” that were all the rage in 1992! Just a decent house with a bit more space than what we left behind in St. Louis.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        Exactly. And even if you’re renting, if it costs you another $50 to $100 a month in rent to be 5 miles closer to work, are you really coming out ahead?

        That $50-$100 is like 10-20 gallons. And most renters have pretty high mileage cars. So that 10-20 gallons probably gets them 300-500 miles. Saving 400 miles a month means you need to save 20 miles a day on the commute.

        But the average person already live 15-20 miles from their workplaces, and renters even closer, perhaps 5-15, so there’s even less margin to cut.

        And all this pretends that there’s no moving cost associated with apartment-hunting, or movers, or whatever.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        And even if you’re renting, if it costs you another $50 to $100 a month in rent to be 5 miles closer to work, are you really coming out ahead?

        Depending on traffic 5 miles could be 20 min. 20min x 2 trips x 20 work days per month = 13.3 hours per month. $100 / 13.3 = $7.51 per hour to avoid traffic. Seems like a fair trade to me.

  • avatar
    Gedrven

    The phrase “limited number of miles at one time” is the red flag that marks this as a biased survey, no doubt also released to a selected (and similarly biased) audience. Liquid fuel-powered vehicles also drive “a limited number of miles at one time”, let’s not forget. Charging for longer than it can drive is an issue, yes, but if we get to the point of “recharge” stations that just swap your nearly drained battery for a fresh one, in a matter of minutes, this becomes moot.

    Reading a bit further into the rest of the survey, the results come off as, well, gruesome. Over half refuse public transit no matter what the costs? 38% won’t upgrade on fuel efficiency?

    They also come off as inconsistent; I would expect the numbers in columns 2-4 to rise with each gas price rise, but instead they fall. So 11% would change jobs with gas at $7, but only 3% if it were $9? That doesn’t sound right…

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      I live in LA. There is no way I’m taking the bus to work. Mass-transit in metro LA is horrible. It would cost me so much time and remove so much of my ability to do things, it’s a non-starter. My time is worth burning gas.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Gedrven “So 11% would change jobs with gas at $7, but only 3% if it were $9? That doesn’t sound right…”

      I think it means “if gas hits $7, an additional 11% would do something; if gas hits $9, an additional 3% would do something.”

  • avatar
    stuki

    Probably not too dissimilar from the percentage who would answer there’s no way they would ever waste their life in front of a computer posting inane stuff about themselves while collecting “friends”, until Facebook came along.

    Chalk this one up to yet another demonstration of how utterly silly it often is, to pretend social sciences are best approached empirically.

    Gas at a million a droplet, range “limited” to a thousand miles, and EVs priced at 50 bucks, and supposedly people won’t buy them? Stick with Mises ad Hayek for social science methodology, and avoid this kind of silliness.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Anybody who has worked a sales job knows that these kinds of surveys (along with most marketing and sales propaganda) are virtually useless, especially when you are talking about *theoretical* purchases.

    “Would I prefer the Aston Martin or the Lambo? Hmm, let me think how I would spend my imaginary money….”

    I, too, think that a great many people will trade down to more fuel efficient, traditional vehicles so long as the technology is new and the price spread as high as it is. I’m not arguing against EVs, just that there is a danger in marketing them as all things to all people.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Not being a statistician I may be wrong about the point I am making, but isn’t 484 people too small a sample size to be statistically relevant. If this is statistically relevant then I’ll quietly read other comments, but it just seems too small to really get a good idea of where the majority of Americans sit.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      The sample size is 1000. For the last question, only 484 of these people could be used because the people not working full or part time can’t answer that question.

      Now, here’s a mental exercise: Phone surveys like this are fundamentally dependent on the idea that the people who bother to answer them will have the same general responses as the people who immediately hang up the phone. (Usually it’s a ratio of four calls to one response).

      If, of the people who responded to the survey, 52% are unemployed, and the current US unemployment rate is 10%-ish, do you think that this survey (or any phone survey) really reflects the general public? Do the people who respond to phone surveys have the same general traits as the people who do not?

      Just throwing that out there.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      An ideal sample is at least 1000 randomly-selected people. 500 isn’t a bad sample size.

  • avatar
    redrum

    “Change jobs or quit working”

    These are 2 totally different options (exactly who is it that can’t afford to pay more for gas, yet can afford to quit???). I have no idea why they combined them into a single response.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    That still leaves 43% of people who would buy an EV – pretty sizeable, considering that only about 8% of US car sales is needed to hit the President’s goal of 1 million vehicles.

  • avatar
    wsn

    “Survey Says: 57% Of Americans Won’t Buy EVs Regardless Of Gas Prices”

    The description is not complete. Should be:

    57% Of about 1000 Americans who bothered to do this survey claimed that they won’t buy EVs regardless of gas prices, when the ACTUAL GAS PRICE is at $3.70.

    Yes, when the ACTUAL GAS PRICE hits $7, these same people will say different things (about price vs. willingness to buy).

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      At that point, I could see downsizing before EVs. People would probably go for hybrids above EVs right now. For me, it would be, compact car, hybrid, and a distant third, EV.

  • avatar
    SimonAlberta

    This survey is garbage.

    Asking people what they THINK they MAY do in a hypothetical situation is never going to produce any kind of reliable data.

    We all think we know how we would react to situations but are often surprised by the reality.

    In regard to this survey, if fuel prices go extremely high then all kinds of market gyrations may occur and a herd mentality may quickly set in either PRO EVs or against them.

    I don’t think there have been very many times in history when we have been able to accurately predict what consumers will do in the future.

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    This survey makes much sense.

    I live in a condo in an apartment block and can’t have a EV: can’t plug and anyway I got only one parking lot and can’t have 2 cars (and also 2 cars would be much more expensive)

    Now you would like me to move to a single house with a garage to be able to plug an EV?
    The house would be 2 times farther from work, and would cost 2 times more. And I would need to buy 2 cars?
    Completely non sense. Count me in the 57%.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      Actually, one car for you is fine. Sounds like a hybrid is the most extreme you can go. No prob.

      But in the burbs, where many (most?) people live in houses with 2 car garages, an EV makes great economical sense. When you have two cars ALREADY (lots of households) and one person drives <100 miles/day (many many people), it can be a shit ton cheaper (over the long run) than two gas-powered cars.

      When the entire economic picture is factored in (oil well to tailpipe vapor) EVs as a second car WILL be cheaper to run, and it's worthwhile to spend some tax subsidies to kick-start them.

      Nobody is making anyone quit their jobs or move, or buy a second car. But if the average suburban (and some urban) US households are going to maintain a car-based lifestyle similiar to what they have now, AND keep all the rest of what they've become accustomed to, these households will likely find it VERY attractive to own an EV.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Gas powered cars have been more appealing than electric ever since Kettering came up with the self-starter circa 1914. There have been no substantial changes in gas vs. electric since then.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Sigh . . . the hype continues. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a story in the general circulation media about EV charging stations. With a breathlessness that can only come with uncritical cheerleading, the article was heralding the advent of more recharging stations — as a result of governmental mandates and subsidies. As though they were the equivalent of gasoline stations for your dedicated EV environmentalist. Someone forgot to mention that the time required to use these stations — unlike the time required to use a gasoline filling station — is measured in hours, not minutes.

    And, let’s not forget all of the people who can’t use an EV: those people who live in other than single-family homes which they own themselves.

    Let’s face it, Elon Musk got it right the first time: an EV is a rich environmentalist poseur’s toy, not a mass-market product. Unlike every other environmentally-friendly car (i.e. a small car, a hybrid, a diesel) the EV is not even an imperfect substitute for a “normal” car. As another poster higher in the thread pointed out, a motor cycle is a better substitute for a normal car than an EV. If I want to see my dad in Annapolis (50 miles away) on Memorial Day, even if there were a charging station at his end of the trip, it would not be possible in the Leaf, even if I did not run the a/c in the forecast 90 degree 80% relative humidity weather. That’s because the duration of my visit would not be long enough to add sufficient juice to the battery to get me home (and about 40 miles of the trip is on a highway).

    The EV seems to me like a significantly more expensive but somewhat better alternative to mass transit, because a lot of people living within the safe operating range of an EV (i.e. in less than perfect California coastal weather and with no recharging except at home) are probably going to be reasonably well-served by mass transit.

    And for those times when you really need a second car for a few hours, there’s ZipCar.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      “As another poster higher in the thread pointed out, a motor cycle is a better substitute for a normal car than an EV.”

      Not only that, but also, at the current state of the art in battery technology, an electric motorcycle makes far more sense than an electric car. If the Gasoline Rapture happened tomorrow, I’d be ordering a Brammo Empulse, not a Nissan Leaf.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Not everyone wants to ride a motorcycle though. I sure don’t, not with the crappy drivers I have to deal with every day in a short commute.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        @Mike
        I can understand that. (Well, actually, I can’t, but I hear it from enough people in the real world that I need to pretend to understand it in order to fit in with polite society. Anyway…)

        I was mostly speaking in terms of the basic physics at work in the technology: while ICE efficiency can vary based on a whole bunch of complicated factors, leading to surprising results like the S2000′s inline-four engine getting the same gas mileage as the Corvette’s V8, electric motor range is going to be very closely tied to the weight and aero vs. the battery capacity. However, charge time only scales with battery capacity. So, for example, a Leaf needs a 24 kWh battery to go (allegedly) 70 miles, whereas the Empulse needs only a 10 kWh battery to go 100 miles. All other things being equal, the Leaf will need two and a half times as long to charge in order to go less than three quarters of the range. (Also the battery pack will cost at least twice as much, you get into the spiral of increasing weight that Chapman always ranted about, etc.)

        So what I mean is that electric motorcycles are a lot closer to being a replacement for gasoline motorcycles than electric cars are to replacing gasoline cars. They aren’t there yet, of course! But they’re a good deal closer.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        You are right about electric motorcycles being much further along than electric cars. I can actually see an electric bike as being fun to ride too. But for me location is a deal breaker for bikes of any kind. There are too many old people and too many idiots who drive here to enjoy a bike. I used to ride bicycles a lot but after so many close calls I gave it up on the street. You would be shocked to ride with me on my commute and see ho wmany people apparently can’t see my truck until it’s almost too late. I can’t drive and relax anywhere in town.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Bicycles are harder to deal with, really. Back when I was poor, I would ride a bicycle everywhere, because hey, it’s better than taking the damn bus. But drivers just don’t see you as a full participant of the road, and you don’t have the ability to avoid others. I feel much safer on a motorcycle than I ever did bicycling.

        As for relaxing, I find that careful route selection helps quite a bit. Where I live, the nearby interstate highway is the most direct route to work, but during rush hour the thing turns into the goddamn Thunderdome. Screw the motorcycle, I wouldn’t feel safe in an MRAP. So I found a route that is ten minutes longer but involves some nice wooded backroads without other cars on them. More than worth it.

        Reminds me of Pirsig, really: “We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on ‘good’ rather than ‘time’ and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes.”

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      Your final sentence might make the most sense of anyone’s in this post.

      It’s all about choosing the right mix of what suits you. This thread has been people shouting about their particular situation, and many folks are forgetting that their situation is not everyone else’s. If the EV fits you, great. If it doesn’t, fine.

      Many people seem to be trashing today’s EV as totally worthless for this world, when it’s really only worthless for their situation.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Actually most of the thread has been reaction to EV fans’ wanting to impose the EV on everyone else. There is bound to be some blowback on that and it’s justified. Let individuals and families make choices for themselves and don’t overpromise the benefits of the EV.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    I could easily see myself buying a hybrid but not an EV no matter what the cost of gasoline is. Until EV’s are developed to the point they have comparable range to hybrid & ICE vehicles and don’t take even 4 hours to recharge they will not be a consideration for the vast majority of American drivers. The convenience of being able to drive your vehicle as far as you want when you want is not something most would be willing to forgo. The Volt technology is the best currently available but the cost of the vehicle overshadows any benefit. Eventually, like almost all new technology the prices will come down and the sales will go up. (Not just the Volt, any vehicle powered by batteries with an onboard generator.) Pure EV’s with limited range and hours long recharge times will never be mainstream purchases.

  • avatar
    probert

    About the same amount believe the Earth is flat – who cares.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    People who have been brainwashed to believe in battery electrics really need to read about Car and Driver’s first month with their Leaf loaner. Nissan is only letting them use it for the 4 gentlest months of Michigan weather, as you wouldn’t want people to see what happens when temperature or weather extremes occur, but the experience of commuting in the Leaf is still pretty harrowing. Real world range is averaging 58 miles so far, and every trip is a stressful adventure.

    A friend is flying into town this weekend. I can pick him up at the airport without any consideration of whether or not the extra mileage will impact my desire to get home that day or any plans to use the car that evening. That isn’t something worth giving up. That is a freedom that has to be taken away.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Heck, with the magic of gasoline power, you could even take him to up north see the wonders of Disneyland and/or Hollywood without requiring hours of charging…

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Surprise. 100% of people won’t buy something.

    The real question is whether there are enough people for whom buying an electric car coincides with the manufacturer being able to make money on them. I don’t think we’re there yet and may not be for a long time, if ever. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get there. It doesn’t even mean we won’t get there soon. There are too many variables to be able to predict an outcome. Clearly there are people who are buying them now. There is already an EV market. I predict that some people will even buy them without subsidies.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    Maybe they realize that the economy will tank way before they can’t afford gasoline which will cause gas prices to crash. If gas goes to $10 a gallon today then the poorest half of the people can’t afford to drive (Like in Europe)…Big deal…What value do they create? They are just a net liability to humanity anyway. Europeans pay $8 per gallon (Twice the price of USA gas and for many decades now) and they don’t buy EVs either.

  • avatar
    John_K

    Hmmmm…. Funny how the greenwipes never consider the additional resources burned by taxpayers forced to subsidize all this crap. I can cut my fuel consumption but if I have to pay for someone else’s transportation (light rail, EVs) then I have to use more resources just to break even.

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    Let us not forget that Comrade Obama is on tape proudly declaring that under his “cap and trade” regime electric costs will (in his words) “necessarily skyrocket.”

    Now while he couldn’t get cap and tax through Congress, his EPA is rolling it out by regulatory fiat.

    So those who assume that the “fuel” cost differential between EV’s and internal combustion vehicles will be that great are, well, as naive as 2008 “HOPE” and “CHANGE” voters.

  • avatar
    daviel

    I am in the “would not do it no matter what” category in every one of the categories.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    Gee Wally, those pesky freedom lovers won’t bow down to (perceived)reality on account of other issues.

    -the Beaver

    Surprise! Surprise!

    -Gomer

    Since it has been observed that electric motorcycles are closer to their gas counterparts, how about eliminating crash standards for EVs? Double benefit of less weight /longer range and less CO2 breathing humans after accidents.

    Less population being the “no one wants to talk about” root issue after all.

    • 0 avatar
      Gedrven

      @manbridge: Thank you for introducing the elephant in the room. Let the awkward/featherruffled/vitriolic counter-introduction games begin…

      Now that I think about it some more, I’d have to count myself in the “none of the above” category as well. I’m preparing to replace my ride with a smaller diesel (there should be a New/Used to this effect sometime soon. Hey, Sajeev…?) regardless of what happens with petroleum prices – at most, they’d hurry it up and keep gas-powered toys more strictly in the toy realm; I ride public transit whenever it makes sense for me, which is infrequently in the US and quite often in Europe; and EV technology is nowhere near mature enough to do what I need it to do, though I recognize that my driving patterns are in the minority.

      For commuters, they make a lot more sense than for roadtrippers/campers like me. If they had replaceable, standardized batteries that you could swap at stations in the time it takes to fill a liquid tank, I think they would be a truly viable alternative for city folk even at current ranges, and especially once prices fall to the point that average-earning 9-5ers could afford them as purely pragmatic decisions, not making statements.


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