Electric Cars Now on the Consumer Dashboard
The survey was fielded after the largest oil spill in U.S history in the Gulf of Mexico, so it's not entirely surprising that energy, the environment and fuel efficiency to be top-of-mind issues. Yet as recently as CEA's April 2010 study Shades of Green - Consumer Attitudes Regarding Green CE (fielded before the spill), consumers indicated green as one of the top five elements they considered when purchasing their next CE device. Additional attributes in order of importance include: price (94 percent indicating important or very important); warranty (85 percent); variety of features (83 percent); environmentally friendly attributes (74 percent). Read more in the February 2010 Dealerscope "Consumerscope: What Green Means to Consumers and the Industry".
What are some issues for potential buyers? Consumers are most concerned about the mileage potential before needing to recharge (50 percent) and battery life (34 percent). Cost to purchase (31 percent), reliability (29 percent) and availability of charging stations (26 percent) are also key questions American consumers have about electric vehicles. Dealers / retailers will likely need to stress the mileage and battery-related specs when promoting electric vehicles. Once they purchase an electronic vehicle, 51 percent of the online U.S. adults say they would hire a professional to install the charging equipment. Only one in five (22 percent) say they would tackle the job themselves.
In 2009, Best Buy Co. began offering electric-powered scooters, bicycles and Segway Inc. transporters in 19 locations in California, Oregon and Washington state, and it expects to expand to 40 markets in 2010. Now Best Buy is actively engaging partners in talks of electric car sales, and their U.K. stores already have electric cars in the GreenTech area. It will include electric charging points so customers can power-up. Wal-Mart already sells electric bikes in more than 400 stores, and Costco stocks them as well. There's also an allocation of $2.4 billion federal stimulus funds for electric charging stations and more research into electric vehicles.