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Discussion Starter #1
From my personal experience, I agree with this notion that consumers don't know jack about EV's.

“It’s a well-known theory in market research that the majority of consumers are reluctant to purchase a novel technology.”

Surveys show that most Americans can’t name a model of electric car, much less explain how it works. For now, the EV market is limited to early adopters — younger, wealthier drivers who want to own the latest tech. The average buyer is still wary of plug-in vehicles.
 

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The overwhelming #1 misunderstanding I've heard over the past several years is the normal consumer's paradigm of "a battery is a battery is a battery" so they know that the 12V battery in their ICE cars are good for about 4-5 years, so they assume a much bigger HVB has the same lifespan -- and so they fear they will face a $10k battery replacement cost after 4-5 years of ownership and of course say no way they'd consider an EV.
 

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The video is spot on. Even within my family, friends and co-workers, no one has bought an EV or PHEV despite hearing of my very good personal experience with them. That's after 7 years.When I ask I get "I'm not buying an electric car" and that's as far as the conversion goes. I chalk it up to fear of the unknown, and disbelief that EV's deliver what the video says they deliver.
 

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Funny, I was just saying something like this yesterday....

Most folks don't know the Volt exists any more than they know who the vice president is.
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For now, the EV market is limited to early adopters — younger, wealthier drivers who want to own the latest tech.
Wealthier? Mostly, yes. Younger? Not in my experience.
 

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The trouble is that many people couple plug ins into religion and politics so there is no reasoning with them
 

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The overwhelming #1 misunderstanding I've heard over the past several years is the normal consumer's paradigm of "a battery is a battery is a battery" so they know that the 12V battery in their ICE cars are good for about 4-5 years, so they assume a much bigger HVB has the same lifespan -- and so they fear they will face a $10k battery replacement cost after 4-5 years of ownership and of course say no way they'd consider an EV.
If anyone but Tesla really wanted to sell EVs then this could have been addressed easily. Imagine that Chevy wanted to sell more than the bare minimum number of Volts and Bolts to satisfy their ZEV credit requirement all they would have had to do was run some ads and addressed the issue head one. The end of the ad would say the battery is warrantied for 8 years and 100,000 miles, then they would say that Chevy has sold over 200,000 EVs and has never had to replace a battery, ZERO!!. Chevy the most reliable EV on the market.
 

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Honestly, I can never remember the name of the junior senator from my state. Guess he hasn't done much to be noteworthy.

To the locals, I can't give a compelling reason to own an EV, so I long ago gave up being an EV pitchman.Zealotry wears thin in a hurry. I have one because I like it. A friend of mine has dumped an E-Pace amount of money into a '32 Ford Victoria hot rod. Makes no sense to me, but he likes it, and that's fine.
 

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To the locals, I can't give a compelling reason to own an EV, so I long ago gave up being an EV pitchman. Zealotry wears thin in a hurry.
I've never gone that route. I don't care much for the common narrative.

I have one because I like it.
I have one because I wanted the experience. I keep it because I like it.

I never push anyone to be like me, but when they ask how I like it I say "It's the best car I've ever owned". That gets them thinking. If they buy one or not I don't care. It has to be their choice.

A friend of mine has dumped an E-Pace amount of money into a '32 Ford Victoria hot rod. Makes no sense to me, but he likes it, and that's fine.
And that's what matters. I keep a finger on the pulse of the rodding community. It's really a lot bigger than most folks might imagine. Join or just visit the H.A.M.B. and you'll find a very active group of folks. It's the friendliest forum I belong to.
 

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In a survey, 42% of people in the UK think you will get electrocuted if you wash your electric car.

When my sister was shopping for a new car, she asked about hybrids, she was told (by sales people) that if you drive over 30 mph the engine will come on anyway so you might as while drive a regular car. She bought a Mazda 3. She had never heard of the Volt. She was surprised to hear that it would drive up to 100 mph on EV considering what she was told by people in the industry.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My EV conversion has a 12 V just like the Volt to run the 12 V accessories.
When I finished my EV conversion project I visited the local tire and battery shop to get a new 12 V battery.
The guy at the tire and battery shop that sold me the 12V battery wanted to know how far I could drive on that 12 V battery.
He had no idea that a 12 V car battery had no where near enough stored energy or voltage to power a vehicle.
I might have expected something like that from the general public, but I did not expect that from him since he was a tech even if a light weight one.
 

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In a survey, 42% of people in the UK think you will get electrocuted if you wash your electric car.

We've seen that question posted here by new Volt owners. So they bought the car, but didn't think to ask at the time I guess.

Before I bought my Volt I did research, including finding and joining GM-Volt. I knew what I was getting, before I decided to buy one. The only unknown at the time was how it would feel to drive one. Would it drive like a regular car? Once I was able to do a test drive in Oct 2010, then it was just a matter of time.

But not all do as much EV research as most Volt/Bolt owners seem to do. They either buy an EV based on some cursory ideas or they don't buy one based on fear, ignorance, misunderstandings. And yes, GM did little to address those or encourage people to buy the Volt (or Bolt EV) other than offer them for sales (still a big plus in my book). But poor/nonexistent Chevy marketing has been a 7 year complaint of mine. The Volt was one of GM's best kept secrets hiding in plain sight.


As far as most EV buyers being young, call me skeptical based on what I see here (and personal experience, haha). Power steering, power brakes, power windows where considered the high tech luxuries for my first cars, and my cars did not have them.

But in general, I'd say EV buyers are more open to new tech. I suspect many EV owners were in the vanguard of early computer adoption for example. You know, back when most did not have a computer.
 

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My EV conversion has a 12 V just like the Volt to run the 12 V accessories.
When I finished my EV conversion project I visited the local tire and battery shop to get a new 12 V battery.
The guy at the tire and battery shop that sold me the 12V battery wanted to know how far I could drive on that 12 V battery.
He had no idea that a 12 V car battery had no where near enough stored energy or voltage to power a vehicle.
I might have expected something like that from the general public, but I did not expect that from him since he was a tech even if a light weight one.
Oh come on, the guy was a clerk in a tire store you can't really expect him to know how much energy is stored in a 12V battery, he's also never seen an EV battery pack so he doesn't even know they exist. The fact that you were able to do your own EV conversion puts you in very rare company. I have a BA in physics and an MSEE in computer engineering and I wouldn't know where to start on an EV conversion and I doubt that many other people in this forum would either. Arthur C Clark famously said that Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology is Indistinguishable from Magic, when he said that he was mostly talking about alien technology because most things in the 1960s were still pretty mechanical and you could actually see how the parts were connected together and how they moved. Today all technology might as well have come off of the ship at Roswell as far as most people are concerned. People know how to use their tech but they don't know how it works, they just take on faith that it does. When something new is introduced they accept it once they've seen it work but until they see it they don't even know it exists.
 

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When I travel I always ask if I can plug my Volt in. So far the answer has always been yes if there's been an available outlet. What I find is this simple question usually ends up in a conversation about EVs in general and the Volt in particular. Just the plugging the car in, especially at hotels, brings anyone who's just hanging out to stretch their legs over to talk about the car as well.
 

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When someone finds that I have an EV I usually get the same questions, or variations thereof:

How far will it go on the battery?
Only 40 miles! What do you then?
How long does the battery last?
How much does it cost to replace the battery?

Until they see the car and get some good information, I think most seem to think it is some sort of grown-up golf cart. The auto world speaks bravely about the coming wave of electric cars, but there will need to be some serious consumer education before EVs gain wide acceptance.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Arthur C Clark famously said that Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology is Indistinguishable from Magic,
I always liked that Clarke quote.

When something new is introduced they accept it once they've seen it work but until they see it they don't even know it exists.
MinnVolt but there will need to be some serious consumer education before EVs gain wide acceptance.
I think this comes to one of the points of this, being that there is still a lot of education left to do for more EV adoption. And that there also is no substitute for personal experience. In more recent times, I am letting people drive the Volt, and telling them to just put it in drive and go, and to drive it like a regular car, and just feel what it feels like to drive and EV. (and don't be shy to mash down on the gas pedal)

Ladogaboy has the right idea with his videos. You know GM could have hired someone like him to create real world videos from the get go and post on youtube, of real world usage of the vehicle, that could have been a big step to help people understand the technology better. Compared to big bucks TV advertising this seems like it would have been money well spent.
 

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.....and to drive it like a regular car......
That's all anyone needs to know. That's all my wife knows and ours is her daily driver. There's no more need to educate anyone than there is for an ICE car. Few people would know how to do anything under the hood beyond filling the washer fluid in either type of car.

I think this educating the public thing is overplayed. My neighbors may not be buying one just yet, but they see us driving ours. It's pretty obvious that it's just another car. Nothing to be afraid of.

Just lead by example and quit all the fussing. It's that unnecessary fussing that intimidates people.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
That's all anyone needs to know. That's all my wife knows and ours is her daily driver.
... It's pretty obvious that it's just another car. Nothing to be afraid of.
At an introductory level of this I agree. Which is why I try to simplify the introduction.

But with all my experience with EV's, over the years, I still have not experienced cross country trips in a pure BEV. I found it pretty helpful to watch some videos journaling cross country trips. After that initial test drive, people in the general public will have some questions, concerns and misinformation that need to be addressed. This is so new I see this as a thing we are all learning about as we go.
 

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I have one tech savvy friend who listen to me complimenting my Volt for over a year, and then he bought one. After almost a year, he's quite happy with the decision.
 

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At an introductory level of this I agree. Which is why I try to simplify the introduction.

But with all my experience with EV's, over the years, I still have not experienced cross country trips in a pure BEV. I found it pretty helpful to watch some videos journaling cross country trips. After that initial test drive, people in the general public will have some questions, concerns and misinformation that need to be addressed. This is so new I see this as a thing we are all learning about as we go.
The only EV that can go anywhere without having to think about it is the Volt, no BEV has that capability yet. Tesla's can cross the country but you have to plan around the locations of superchargers, their nav software does that for you but you don't have the freedom to go off of the beaten path. When the range passes 400 miles then I think BEVs will truly be go almost anywhere vehicles because it's really hard to do more than 400 miles in a day except on a superhighway where chargers are likely to frequent enough so that recharging is not a problem. Nobody worries about range in an ICEV because gas stations are so common, but fast chargers will never be anywhere as ubiquitous as gas stations, the solution is to have enough range so that you won't need to fast charge and that's probably 400 miles.
 
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