Author: Alex Reid - www.driving.ca
Electric cars are becoming more and more popular, but most people are still a long way away from switching to plug-in power and away from reliable gasoline vehicles, Green Car Reports reports.
Oil company Castrol commissioned a global survey to find out the tipping point where most consumers would be willing to take an EV over a fuel-burning car as a viable transportation option.
The study surveyed 9,000 consumers, 750 fleet managers, and 30 automotive industry professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, India, China, and Japan.
The results of the study (dubbed "Accelerating the Evolution") found that to achieve mass adoption, electric cars must, on average, offer 31-minute charging times; 468 km of range; and have a base price of US$36,000 (CDN$47,250).
The price was the biggest factor for adoption, according to consumers, with charge time and range following in importance. Some 61 per cent of buyers are adopting a wait-and-see approach, hoping that battery technology will improve vastly before purchasing.
Fleet managers are equally cautious, with 54 per cent of them saying they would wait for competitors to switch before doing so themselves.
"An equally critical challenge is helping consumers understand that, in many cases, the future that they want from electric vehicles is closer than they may think," the study summarizes.
So when will the tipping point occur? Some automakers have gotten close to reaching one or two of the criteria, but capturing the trifecta is a different story. Most consumers surveyed said they would consider buying an electric car by 2024, while the study itself predicts mainstream adoption will occur by 2032 in the U.S.; 2025 and 2027 in India and China; and 2031 in France.
Why would an oil company commission a study to find out when EVs become viable? Well, Castrol's hoping to diversify its products, and will soon offer "e-fluid" lubricants for EVs.
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