Electric Vehicle Market Bulges, Automakers Lag

According to a Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) study titled “Electrifying the Vehicle Market: Evaluating Automaker Leaders and Laggards in the United States,” more than half of US electric vehicle sales are in California, with 22 models available in 2015. However, most models are difficult to find, or are not available in other states.

The UCS sees the biggest barriers to electric-vehicle adoption is that too many automakers are failing to make electric options available. “You can’t buy a car you can’t find,” said David Reichmuth, a vehicles engineer at UCS and the lead author of the study. As per UCS, the future is electric, but when automakers don’t put effort into building and selling these cars, they’re missing out on an evolving market.

The study points to several automakers being behind the curve. These include Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai/Kia, and Honda. BMW, GM, Nissan and Tesla are doing better at making electric options available.

A recent UCS and Consumers Union survey of driving habits and requirements indicated that the electric vehicle technology of today could meet the needs of millions of drivers. The survey found that more than 40 percent of drivers in both California and the Northeast could use an electric vehicle today without changing their driving habits. A strong majority of respondents expressed interest in electric vehicles and want manufacturers to offer more electric models. The survey also found that over 85% of consumers would not buy a vehicle without test driving it.

Interestingly, this study outlines the shortages of electric car models, hypes the advantages of said vehicles, but makes no conclusions as to why there is a lack of these vehicles being offered in the northeast. Some possible reasons could be the lack of charging facilities. Also, the extremes of climate in these areas make car owners a little reluctant to take chances on a newer technology that’s not predictable to them under certain situations. Maybe their next study should focus on finding an answer.

For more information, go to http://www.ucsusa.org

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