Survey Reveals Electric Car Demand
by healthypages on 27/05/2011 - 12:13 pm |
Demand for electric cars is really starting to take off in America. With 20,000 people waiting to get hold of the new Nissan Leaf and General Motors also struggling to meet demand for their new Chevy Volt, car manufacturers are starting to look much deeper at consumer wants.
To that end the survey conducted by researchers from the University of Delaware revealed just how much people value specific attributes of the electric car. This will help the manufacturers to know in advance how much the research and development of particular functions will pay off in the long run.
Consumers rated driving range, savings in fuel costs and charging time as the top most important aspects that they want addressed. Over 3,000 people were involved in the study which also asked how much people would value specific attributes in dollar terms.
If the charging time needed for a 50 mile drive could be reduced from 10 hours to 5 hours drivers would pay “$427 per hour in reduction time” for such a vehicle. If the charging time could be reduced from 5 hours to 1 hour they would pay about $930 for each hour reduction. Take that time down to just 10 minutes and they would pay as much as $3,250.
For the range of the vehicle, drivers were willing to pay $75 per mile up to 200 miles and $35 per mile for additional mileage up to 300 miles.
This was worked out on the basis that if everything about two cars was the same except that one was petrol powered and the other one electric powered, if the petrol one had a range of 300 miles and the electric one 200 miles, consumers would want to pay $3500 less for the electric car. However, in most cases the electric car would be better in other areas such as lower fuel costs, which had to be factored into the survey.
Professor George Parsons, one of the study researchers said: "This information tells the car manufacturers what people are willing to pay for another unit of distance," adding that "It gives them guidance as to what cost levels they need to attain to make the cars competitive in the market."
As 9% of U.S. Drivers never drive over 100 miles in a day they would have no problem with an electric car. That figure could be increased to 32% of U.S. Drivers in this category could be persuaded to adapt 6 times a year which is how often they drive over 100 miles in a day.
The study authors said that, "It appears that even modest electric vehicles with today's limited battery range, if marketed correctly to segments with appropriate driving behavior, comprise a large enough market for substantial vehicle sales."