Challenges For Electric and Plug-In Vehicles

images-31.jpgA big alteration in the auto industry is on the way. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are coming, and we have been asking for a while: When will they arrive? However, now a question more appropriate would be: Is America ready?

At the Institute of Transportation Studies, located within the University of California, this question has been the topic of research.

What they have found is cause for concern. First, they discovered that a large obstacle to acceptance of these cars is a lack in consumer education. Motorists just don’t have a lot of knowledge about plug-ins, or they get the information confused with already available hybrids. Car shoppers may not even understand what the benefits are of having plug-in vehicles, including the gas savings that they will receive.

Next, approximately half of households in the U.S. don’t have the infrastructure that will support plug-in cars. For example, look at Chicago residents. A citizen who lives in an apartment could really benefit from a car that could drive 40 miles without needing any gas. However, a person such as this wouldn’t have any garage access, which would mean they wouldn’t have a way to recharge the vehicle.

According to the study, only one-third of households wanting to buy a new car had the infrastructure necessary and an interest in hybrid or plug-in cars. This is definitely an obstacle for the mainstream success of plug-ins and electric cars. After all, a lot of people would be making calls for roadside assistance without an infrastructure to be able to recharge their cars.

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 2:27 pm In Roadside Assistance Program