EVs make USA Today front page

by Ernie Hernandez on May 19, 2011

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Are EVs mainstream yet?

With electric vehicles (EVs) being featured as the cover story on USA Today, does it mean that EVs are mainstream? We don’t think so, but it does reflect an increased awareness on the part of the mainstream press.

With the goofy looking three-wheeled Myers Motors NmG featured in color on page 1A, the first impression of EVs is that they are wacky. As one makes their way to page 2A, the second impression is not much better with the headline “The biggest concern: Battery life”. But for those that actually take the time to read the article and multiple sidebars with current EV drivers (owners and lessees) prominently displayed with photos of their cars, some facts work their way past those initial impressions.

The page 2A headline actually refers to “most people” – according to Rosanna Garcia, a marketing professor at Northeastern University. A review of the current drivers profiled in the article show that none of them are concerned about the range proffered by their EV. We have found this to be pretty much the case in our discussions with other EV owners. Most EV buyers have a very good sense of how they will be using the car, and have a strong understanding of its capabilities and its limitations. While “most people” won’t buy a Ford F350 truck to commute back and forth to work, the current selection of EVs provide the right mix of features for current EV buyers. You probably won’t find most EV drivers trying to take a load of lumber to a construction site either. Right now, “most people” won’t buy EVs because their situation does not sync with the current EV blend of features and capabilities. This just means that the current crop of EVs are not the right vehicle for every situation. Just as the Model A did not fit the bill for every early adopter of the automobile.

Interestingly, USA Today did take some of their precious column-inches to say that when automobiles first made their way into the consciousness of the American public, people would carry their own gas, not knowing where their next gas station might be. What’s this – an article actually recognizing that early automobiles faced challenges too? Oh my!

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