According to a new study by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, American new car buyers simply aren’t interested in electric cars, whether hybrid or plug-in. The new study does seem indicate that new car buyers in certain cities are embracing electric cars. Places like Chicago, Boston and San Francisco are showing strong growth in electric car purchases, but this is not enough to sustain the entire industry, the study says.
Given that electric automobile sales across the board have been steadily growing does not seem to influence the authors of this new study. They say that President Barack Obama’s plan to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 is misguided at best.
However, it is important to note that the data for the just released study was collected in autumn of 2011, long before the most current fleet of hybrid electric and plug-in electric vehicles, with increased reliability and extended range hit the market. It was also before the new hybrid-electric Chevy Volt, with a range of nearly 400 miles hit the market.
Their study was also conducted long before the current crop of more than 11,000 electric charging stations were installed around the country. Cities such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Indianapolis have embraced electric vehicle technology and have begun installing hundreds of new electric charging stations around their downtown areas. Tesla Automotive has already begun installing a massive nationwide network which allow owners of their plug-in electric Tesla Model S vehicles to criss-cross the country without the need to rush home and recharge.
The Indiana University report data was also collected before Consumer Reports determined that electric vehicles have nearly the same depreciation rate as their fossil-fuel only cousins and began rating electric as higher value vehicles both for their reliability and quality craftsmanship.
Based on all the recent reports showing electric vehicle technology has so far surpassed gasoline technology and expectations, it seems way too early, and indeed shortsighted, to base a study on data collected before a new technology had hardly had a chance to begin.