Trying to get caught up some story ideas and notes this morning, so up with the finches and chickadees building nests in eaves. I keep coming back to one research press release about electric vehicles from tech analyst firm Gartner, not because it is making some huge prediction about adoption. Rather, what interests me is that according to Gartner's research for its so-called electric vehicle readiness study ("Gartner Study: Strategic Market Considerations for Electric Vehicle Adoption in the U.S.), consumers are more inclined to buy an electric vehicle than a car that is diesel-powered.
Electric vehicles were the fourth most popular choice, behind vehicles powered by gasoline, hybrid engines or natural gas. That electric vehicles would have more of a following than diesel makes sense to me, but I just never paused to think about it before. The thing that continues to hold people back is the premium price they pay for the vehicle itself, although gasoline prices approaching $5 could change the equation (my analysis, not Gartner's and one that is explored in another survey that one of my SmartPlanet colleagues wrote about yesterday).
Said Gartner vice president and analyst Thilo Koslowsky in the press release about the study:
"The ideal EV does not exist yet in today's automotive market and will likely require another technology generation before it arrives. Consumer sentiment regarding EVs is still positive, but is beginning to show signs of concern for automotive manufacturers when compared to 2010. EVs must provide better cost-value ratios and convince consumers that no significant behavioral changes are needed before becoming a large-scale, consumer alternative for traditional internal-combustion engine (ICE) and hybrid powertrain technologies."
Another survey about electric vehicles from Pike Research predicts that sales volumes for plug-in electric vehicles will reach a critical mass in the 2015 timeframe, when it believes sales will top 1 million units for the first time. Of the two types of electric vehicles reaching the marketplace, Pike believes that battery electric vehicles will account for 56 percent of those sales in 2015 on a worldwide basis. But in the United States and Canada, consumers will adopt plug-in hybrid electric vehicles more readily, because of their extended driving range and the "fall-back" option of gasoline.