Chevrolet Spark EV at CCS fast charging station in San Diego.Enlarge Photo
One reason cited for the slow, if growing, penetration of plug-in electric cars in the U.S. is that they're not available in all segments and body styles.
With the exception of the pricey Tesla Model X and the discontinued Toyota RAV4 EV, for example, there are no battery-electric SUVs or crossovers with all-wheel drive on the market.
To date, all-electric cars have clustered in the small hatchback segment.
In fact, more than a dozen battery-electric models fall into that category.
They are the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt EV and Spark EV, Fiat 500e, Ford Focus Electric, Honda Fit EV, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Kia Soul EV, Mercedes-Benz B 250e, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, and Volkswagen e-Golf.
We asked our Twitter followers in which segment they expected to see the fastest growth of all-electric cars.
Which type of car will go all-electric the fastest?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) February 6, 2017
Perhaps not surprisingly, the results of the survey pretty much mirrored the current reality.
More than four out of 10 respondents (43 percent) said they expected "small hatchbacks" to be the segment where electric cars grew fastest.
Reflecting the outsized impact of Tesla's Model S sedan and Model X crossover utility vehicle, the next category was "luxury sedans" at 29 percent.
In retrospect, perhaps we should have put that as "luxury vehicles," which would have included several all-electric luxury crossovers planned for launch by 2020 from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz.
Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
The other two categories, "crossover utilities" and "supercars," had few fans—16 percent and 12 percent respectively.
That got us to wondering why crossovers and SUVs didn't rank higher.
In today's new-car market, with gasoline prices low and financing readily available, utility vehicles are hot-hot-hot and automakers are introducing new variants as fast as they can design and build them.
So if battery-electric cars are to find new buyers, shouldn't they mirror the market and go where the demand lies?
Or, put another way: where are the electric crossovers that the market might just snap up like hotcakes?