There have been a couple of signs recently that consumers may not be quite ready yet for pure electric vehicles (EVs), or at least that manufacturers still have some work ahead of them to be able to provide an EV that has all the features that consumers want.
Toyota has drastically cut the number of eQ cars it plans to build to only about 100 vehicles, down from several thousand as were initially planned when the vehicle was first announced. (The eQ is an all-electric variant of their small iQ car.) But the company is far from abandoning vehicle electrification altogether. Toyota has also announced plans to have 21 different gas-electric hybrid models in its line by 2015. It is the all-electric vehicle that the company does not see as a viable market at present.
Meanwhile, a group of Nissan LEAF owners in Arizona got together to test their vehicles on their own to show the company that their vehicles batteries are prematurely losing capacity and are not able to reach the promised driving range. The LEAF owners felt that they were not getting sufficient responses to their complaints from the company and decided to take matters into their own hands. The hot Arizona environment was a particular concern from the outset, since the LEAF does not have a battery cooling system.
Electric vehicles certainly have niches in which they are an excellent option. But in many ways, they are not perceived as ideal for the wide range of driving that many people do. As automakers make improvements, these perceptions may well change, and more people will take up EVs. But there are a lot of ingrained consumer habits that will take more than a couple years to overcome.
written by Edwin, October 01, 2012
written by Paul Wellman, October 06, 2012
written by Jim Furth, October 10, 2012
written by George Phillips, March 11, 2013
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