Why Americans don't buy Electric Vehicles

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Old Bear, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    I just read this Forbes article about why American's don't buy electric vehicles in spite of all the buzz about them.

    Author Brooke Crothers notes:

    My neighborhood in Los Angeles is a very rare exception with more than its fair share Model 3 owners as well as a small Chevy Volt and Bolt presence. But leave my neighborhood and travel to other locations around the U.S. and EVs pretty much vanish.

    This is pretty much consistent with my East Coast perspective. Although there are Prius Chat contributiors in the rural mid-west and even northern Maine, it seems that the electric car remains an urban/sub-urban thing where travel is in relatively short frequent trips and charging infrastructure is more-or-less available.

    Brooke Crothers continues:

    Ted Cannis, Global Director, Electrification, Ford Motor Company cites an interesting statistic: “Forty-two percent of Americans think electric vehicles still require gas to run.” That shows how little many Americans know about EVs. Or they think all EVs are basically a Toyota Prius (which is even worse).

    We'll probably keep our 2017 Prime for many years and, when the time comes, will replace it with another electric vehicle. In my opinion, once you've gotten used driving electric, it's hard to go back. (Unfortunately, given what I have been reading about the Entune implementation on the 2020 Prime, it's unlikely that I'd even consider another Toyota until the company gets its electronics, user interface, and feature strategy under control.)

    Anyway, do take a look at the Forbes article to see what life is like outside of world of EV enthusiasts.
     
  2. GKL

    GKL Member

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    Good points !!!!

    My wife and I are planning on getting a PHEV in May of 2020, and since my wife is sold on Toyota because a friend of hers has had a Toyota for over 300,000 miles and it's still holding up strong, we are looking toward getting a 2020 Prius Prime XLE, though I am hoping they will eventually have upgrades available for Android Auto and also the Prime apps.

    Sure, it would be nice to have a completely electric vehicle, and while it might be very rare for us to take long trips we want to have the versatility of a hybrid so we are not stuck waiting for hours to recharge in the middle of a trip.

    One current drawback for EVs in the eastern U.S. is limited charging stations, for EVs to be more widely accepted there needs to be a lot more charging stations AND design the EVs to be able to recharge in about 30 minutes, and have at least a 400 mile range without being beyond the price range of the average person.

    With a PHEV we would drive as much as possible in all electric mode and usually only use the hybrid mode when we know we will be exceeding the EV range, so it is good to have the hybrid mode to fall back on when needed.

    There is an informative EV podcast I listen to out of England, EVs seem to be more accepted there, but he does talk about EVs and PHEVs in the U.S. also, it is a daily podcast but usually is under about 20 minutes -

    EV News Daily - Electric Car podcast

    Again, an EV would be nice to have, but with the current limitations I would only consider it as a 2nd car after already first having a PHEV and right now it would be hard to afford buying both at one time, so the PHEV comes first.
     
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  3. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Around here the economics of the additional annual taxes along with the additional title taxes specific to a
    Standard hybrid or
    Plug in
    Are very poor...

    Considering we are talking $50/1000 miles of fuel (including taxes) to run a standard economy car it’s a hard sell considering the very high miles necessary to break even on any hybrid, let alone plug in.

    These issues In addition to the higher insurance make them a bum deal.
     
  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Interesting opinion piece.
    I think the author, while he has some good points, vastly underestimates the difficulty of transitioning to EVs.
    Not for most people, but for dealerships, most manufacturers and energy companies.
     
  5. GKL

    GKL Member

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    I can appreciate what you said - "around here" - I guess it depends on your state, I checked and for our state they only charge about $60 every 2 years on PHEVs for road maintenance taxes. I also read on the DMV site that some insurance companies actually offer lower rates on "green" vehicles.

    As far as the economics of gas vehicles over EVs or PHEVs the Federal tax credit helps with that initially for now, and I believe we can't depend on gas prices staying as low as they are now, any type of conflict could cause gas prices to go way up and those who have EVs or PHEVs will be glad they do.
     
  6. GKL

    GKL Member

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    Understood, one thing is charging stations need to be a lot more common place for people to begin to feel more and comfortable with EVs, the industry can't wait for more EVs to be sold before increasing the number of charging stations, they need to increase the number of charging stations first.
     
  7. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    Here in the Midwest the charger infrastructure is poor.
     
  8. GKL

    GKL Member

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    We're in the southeast in a small town about 25 miles north of a big city, last I checked the closest charging stations to us are 2 that are close together about 15 miles away, then quite a few all around the big city about 25 miles away, so we would likely do about 99% of our charging at home.
     
  9. Dimitrij

    Dimitrij Active Member

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    To sum up my first-hand experience of driving a Bolt for almost 2.5 years: it didn't offer any appreciable extra capabilities vs. the Prius, and/but imposed a number of limitations and inconveniences. I do recognize that the Prius is a hard-to-beat marvel of engineering, so perhaps the comparison is a little skewed.

    If anyone is interested, I can share my observations in greater detail.

    On a positive note: I expect an EV that would meet the expectations of the US mass market to become available sometime in 2021.
     
  10. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yer driving yer 13mpg landyacht, life is good, gasoline is a tiny portion of your budget, you don't care about the environment, or don't think you can make a difference.

    why inconvenience your fine self?
     
  12. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    How would the automotive industry achieve that?

    A simple example is seeing the benefit of having chargers where people tend to spend at least an hour patronizing that business anyway... like a coffeeshop, restaurant, or theater. It seems sensible, until you try to figure out how. What benefit is there for any specific automaker to invest in any specific location or even a chain? Usage would have no correlation to vehicle purchases. In other words, there is no actual "industry" to direct initiatives. Heck, even trying to enforce minimum requirements or safety standards is a major undertaking.

    This is why Toyota is pushing their focus-on-the-masses approach. You start with a gain not requiring infrastructure change, but offering a gain if you choose to upgrade... something to entice as well as retain future value. With Prius Prime, nothing beyond an ordinary 120-volt outlet is needed. If you decide to install a 240-volt outlet later, charging time is reduced.

    Waiting for some landlord to install chargers for their business lessor simply isn't realistic.
     
  13. egg_salad

    egg_salad Active Member

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    I don't know much about SCUBA gear because it is irrelevant to my life. Which is the same reason most people don't know about BEV.
     
  14. GKL

    GKL Member

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    when you said "vs. the Prius" did you mean the Prius Prime or the non-plug in Prius ?

    I hope you are right about the EV in 2021

    Wonder why the discontinued the Volt as popular as it seemed to be ?

    If they eventually could get charge time down to 20 to 30 minutes it would make a good difference, but you have an idea about shopping places and restaurants, I might tend to patronize places where I could charge up while shopping or eating more than places that didn't have chargers.
     
    #14 GKL, Sep 22, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2019
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it was not popular

    an ev that would meet the expectations of the mass market in 2 years? must be some secret project from area 51
     
    #15 bisco, Sep 22, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2019
  16. GKL

    GKL Member

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    okay, I guess I saw more of the positive reviews, wonder why it wasn't popular, I thought it had good EV range, maybe it was too small ?
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    depends on how you define popular i suppose. do you consider the prime to be popular?

    i suspect gm was losing money hand over fist
     
  18. GKL

    GKL Member

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    I guess popular is relative, I remember reading somewhere that as far as vehicles with electric capability Prime sales was second only to Telsa sales.
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    true, but compare them to gassers and, yikes!

    toyota makes money on carb credits, otherwise, they might not even have a plug in. purely speculation on my part though.
     
  20. GKL

    GKL Member

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    that's why I said "relative" :)
     
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