Carmakers are on a mission to make electric cars the future – partly due to government mandates. However, executives from the industry are concerned about consumer hesitancy.
The data shows that most consumers are yet to fully embrace electric vehicles for a number of reasons, like limited driving range, problems refueling, and a general fear of the unknown.
However, despite this, the car industry hopes that consumers will eventually warm up to the idea and start to consider electric cars as an option.
In an interview for CNBC, the CEO of major car dealer group Pendragon says that there are signs that people are starting to embrace electric vehicles, although he understands why some people aren’t too keen.
In the interview, he says, “People’s hesitancy … around electric is multifaceted. First off, it’s unknown — no one’s ever driven an electric car so there’s a lot of uncertainty that goes along with that.”
“There’s range anxiety which most consumers call out. Even though … most consumers drive less than 50 miles a day, knowing that you can’t easily refuel your vehicle creates hesitancy.”
EV sales are gradually increasing
Despite the fact the electric vehicle purchases aren’t as high as dealers would like, the numbers have been gradually increasing and are significantly higher than in 2011.
In fact, a report by the Department of Energy says that sales were over 360,000 in 2018, which is a huge ries from the 17,000 sales in 2011.
But, there are warnings that manufacturers are moving too fast in producing new cars when demand is still limited. Most car buyers still have concerns that haven’t been addressed.
For example, even though there have been vast improvements in technology, like the expansion of the charging infrastructure, the limited driving range is still an issue for consumers. Other worries include the higher purchase price and maintenance costs.
Improvements in these areas could be key to overcoming hesitancy. But, there will be plenty of challenges for the industry to get to that point.