It's Time to Go Electric

IBM study finds 20% of people surveyed would be interested in buying an electric car.

Published: 31-Jan-2011

More drivers are considering an electric vehicle to replace their gas guzzlers as oil prices rise again. Many are even willing to pay premium over a comparable gas car but not, it seems, the 240 volt home charger.

According to a study by IBM, 20% of drivers are willing to consider a new electric car next time they’re in the market for an automobile. 30% of drivers said that they are willing to switch to EV’s that got 100 miles or less per charge, as many currently do. Yet some drivers are still hesitant on choosing to go electric. Why? Apparently the buck stops at home charging. While EV’s save drivers on gasoline expenses, choosing to go electric also means having to equip one’s home with the appropriate charging outlet. The cost to install such a system generally runs from $1,000 to $2,000, on top of the extra cost of an electric car. When faced with this reality, only 13% of the interviewees said they would spend more than $1,000 to have a home charging station. Also, if lots of electric cars start plugging in over night, the lower electricity rates for night use may disappear as utilities reconsider their options.

Home charging is important to the acceptance of EV’s, but there are ways to get around this sticking pint. There isn’t a gas station in your house, is there? But you still drive a car. So we should build charging stations for these vehicles where drivers leave their vehicles for extended periods of time, such as train stations. Malls, offices, and shopping centers can also provide easily accessible places to charge one’s EV, though the premium cost of electricity during business hours may give people a second thought about installing that home charging station.

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