PHOTO CAPTION: BMW i3 electric car, like the Tesla Model S, aims to change public perceptions of what an electric car is and does.

Want Electric Cars to Catch On With the Public? Upgrade Their Image

Cardiff University's Paul Nieuwenhuis thinks electric cars need to be re-imaged away from their 'puritanical' perception by the public.

Published: 29-Jan-2014

Paul Nieuwenhuis, who works as a senior lecturer in logistics and operations management at Cardiff University, as well as a co-director at its Centre for Automotive Industry Research, believes electric cars are much closer to entering the mainstream than they were just five years ago.

In recent years the cars have become much more sophisticated. The BMW i3, which was released late last year, shows advanced design, including a light, aluminium chassis and a carbon fibre body structure, in order to offset the weight of its battery pack.

Nieuwenhuis says: “They [BMW] have got some cash washing about and it shows. They are taking a longer-term view of this.


Computer Illustration of Nissan Resonance

Bill Chameide, Duke University's Dean of Nicholas School of the Environment reviews the e-drive offerings at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid similar to that driven by Professor Shapiro.

Retired Wayne State professor of Mechanical Engineering Howard Shapiro writes that hybrids make more sense than do all-electric cars.

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu with mockup of Chevrolet Volt battery pack behind him.

Some 488,000 hybrids and electric car were sold in the USA in 2012, representing 3.3 percent of the market, but to reach 1 million by 2015, share would have to increase to 6 percent.


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