Here at AllCarsElectric we cover stories about electric and hybrid vehicles.  Our writing is geared towards our readership which is well versed in advanced technology vehicles.  As such, certain aspects about the general public are not often discussed.  Our writers and our readers alike may know virtually everything there is to know about electric vehicles.  But what does the general public know?  What is their consensus on EVs and plug-in hybrids?

For this perspective we turn to a recent article in the Detroit Free Press.  Free Press writer Melanie Scott interview several NAIAS attendees.  She asked questions about vehicles on display at the Electric Avenue exhibit.

Through the course of her interviews, one aspect became apparent, the general buying public lacks knowledge and understanding of EVs, a concern that automakers are trying diligently to correct.

Interviewees commented several times about the high expected prices for electric vehicles.  Many said that the vehicles on display were simply out of their price range.  Other believe that hybrids are a great choice, but the cost premium is simply to difficult to overcome.

Interviewee Nina Broaden said, "I liked alot of the cars especially the Ford Escape Hybrid, but I can't spend $30,000 on a car right now."

The general sentiment is that hybrids and EVs are expensive and purchasing one is a risk due to the uncertainty of the technology.  many buyers said that they would wait a few years before considering a hybrid or EV.  This would allow them time to be certain that the technology is reliable.

Price and reliability is a major concern, but one quote from Detroiter Adam Percy sums up the major problem with EVs being accepted by the public.  As Adam Percy in the interview with the Detroit Free Press, "I know where to buy gas right now and I know where to take my car for maintenance.  I have no idea where I would plug in a car or how to take care of a hybrid."

Educating consumers will be a major hurdle that automakers must overcome.  Buyers will not be willing to put down a significant amount of money without reasonable assurances.  And they will not invest in the new technology if they are not informed and do not understand it.

Educating the buying public about electric vehicles and conquering fears of range anxiety will be a prominent focus in marketing campaigns for makers of plug-ins and EVs.  With knowledge and assurances, the cars will be a success.

Source:  Detroit Free Press Print Edition Jan 24th