I think the key to adoption here is consumer behavior. The electric cars are not going to have the same range and convenience of refueling as the gasoline and diesel powered cars for quite some time. However many US households have two cars. Perhaps having one electric car and one conventionally fueled one would work out for many people. The statistics seem to show that most daily commutes are less than 100 miles. For thos other situations the conventionally fueled vehicle is better.
Consider this, if the electric cars had similar range and could be refueled overnight (inexpensively), at home and the purchase price was maybe 20% more would the adoption rate improve? I am guessing it would. So the problem is really one of battery life and refueling time. These two caharacteristics are being steadily improved. There is a point in the near future when the technology will reach the point when it can fulfill the role required better than now. Until that time the adoption rate is going to be lower although perhaps steadily improving.
The bottom line is that consumers might be somewhat flexible in many transportation respects. But since a car is a long term investment, and a significant one for most households, the adoption rate is not going to be very high without some give on the part of the consumers regarding usage characteristics.
Right now, many people (probably most people) view the electric car as a very expensive vehicle that underperforms its gas-fueled counterpart. Apple needs to come out with an iCar that is incredibly user friendly and offers surprising benefits that we didn't even know we wanted until Apple presented them.
Apple doesn't offer much in new technology. The company takes existing technology, makes it friendly, makes it cool. Electric cars will probably not take off until some brand owner does to the electric car what Apple did to the smartphone.
If it's cool, cost isn't an issue. Just look at the pricing on the MacBook Pro. You can get three Dells for the same price. The electric car is waiting for its iCar moment.
I think range anxiety will be associated with electric cars for as long as there are electric cars, at least for current drivers (i.e., those old enough to remember gas engines). However, as plug-in electrics like the Nissan Leaf move out in the market, increased familiarity with these vehicles on the part of the public will breed increased acceptance. Clearly, though, we're going to be in the early adopter phase for quite a while.
The problem with electric car is, beside poor range specially in cold weather, is the charging time which is way too long. It prevents long trip as you will have to stop, find a charging station (not easy these days) and ... wait...
I have heard once that in California, someone was proposing battery replacement stations. So as today with gas station, you drive in, remove your empty battery and replace it with a charged one. You now pay for the charge and the battery location.
For this to be accepted by customer, the car owner does not own the battery but rent it. This way he will accept to change the battery when empty. For sure, the car manufacturers must provide the same battery format and same connector. Batteries must be interchangeable.
This is the only way you can do long drive with an electric car, and the "filling" time will be similar to what is done now, stopping at a gas station, filling, pay and drive away. No time lost.
Gas station where not available when the first cars started rolling, so the same with this approach, the gas station must migrate to become battery charging/exchange station.
I think the poll reflects the likely concerns about battery life. Without proper, widely available recharging stations, pure electric vehicles equipped with today's battery technology will no doubt have a hard time infiltrating the mainstream. Also, as an on-the-go mom carting kids around all the time, while I want to be environmentally correct, I do need the room my gas-guzzling SUV provides. So longer battery life, but roomier vehicles are likely what's going to get me to consider going electric.
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