Newsflash: Electric Cars Are Here!

2016_nissan_leaf

A lot of people don’t realize this, but it’s possible, right now, to head to a local dealer and drive home in an electric car. You, being an informed and educated car guru, are likely well aware of this. Up to 60 percent of the American public, however, don’t realize that plug-in electric cars are a thing.

Last summer I drove a brand new Nissan Leaf onto a local community college campus to help set up an event. The response from people that day was complete disbelief that a car could run so silently.

“It’s electric,” I said.

“Electric? Like you plug it in?”

“Yup.”

“So it doesn’t need gas?”

“Nope.”

Most of the folks I spoke with that day didn’t know about electric cars. As it turns out, most people in America don’t either.

The Leaf debuted in 2010 for the 2011 model year and Tesla has been building electric cars since 2008. There’s a good 6-8 years of EV history already, but most people still don’t know about them.

A recent study said,

Despite significant advancements in electric vehicle (EV) technology, 60 percent of American drivers said they were unaware about electric cars and 80 percent have never ridden in or driven one, according to new data from Altman Vilandrie & Company’s survey of more than 2500 consumers. However, the survey also finds that a clear majority of consumers who have been inside an EV enjoyed it and many more consumers would purchase an EV if lower-priced models were available.

It’s no surprise that cost has been a barrier to widespread EV acceptance, but—with the Leaf, Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3, and many more upcoming models from Ford, Volkswagen, and more—the tipping point of EV awareness should be upon us.

The other problem contributing to the lack of knowledge about EVs is a lack of marketing from automakers. People close to the car industry, such as journalists, bloggers, and enthusiasts, have been reading and writing about electric cars for close to a decade. The average citizen, however, isn’t seeing widespread marketing on television or online. That should start to change as the new breed of lower-cost EVs begin to hit the market.

Maybe someday, instead of questioning EVs, people will wonder why anyone still drives a car powered by gasoline.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t know about electric cars?

-tgriffith

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