More evidence of consumer electric vehicle angst

Whether it is range anxiety or safety fears, 87 percent of U.S. adults have some sort of nagging concern about EV technology.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Apparently close to 90 percent of us have some sort of anxiety or concern about electric vehicles, which is probably a big factor in slower than expected electric vehicle sales over the past 12 months.

The data is part of the Consumer Reports 2012 Car Brand Perception Survey, which covers much broader issues than just the electric vehicle movement. Data was collected from 1,702 adults who lived in households with at least one home; the survey period was early December 2011.

What exactly are people worried about?

A majority of them (77 percent) fret over range concerns for electric and plug-in hybrids, even though most cars currently available have a much larger range that the average American drives during the course of a day.

Fewer of the Consumer Reports survey respondents were worried about safety: slightly less than one-third (28 percent) point up safety worries as a reason to stay out of the driver's seat of an electric vehicle. Actually, far more of the respondents said they believed electric and plug-in hybrids were at least as safe as gasoline-powered alternatives.

Two other things that apparently worry people: the silence of electric vehicles, which some believe could result in more pedestrian mishaps and accidents, and the potential for fires started by home electric vehicle charging equipment.

Whether or not any of these fires are founded -- there really hasn't been much evidence that any of these things is a big issue -- the electric vehicle industry still has a lot of marketing and education to do in order to reverse these perceptions.

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