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Want better electric vehicle adoption? Put chargers at the mall

Electric vehicles are garnering a lot of attention, but there are many hurdles---range, electrical retrofits and costs---to clear before they are widely adopted, according to a study by IBM.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

Electric vehicles are garnering a lot of attention, but there are many hurdles---range, electrical retrofits and costs---to clear before they are widely adopted, according to a study by IBM.

IBM's Institute for Business Value conducted a survey of 1,716 drivers and 123 auto industry execs. In a nutshell:

  • 19 percent of respondents said they were very likely to at least consider an EV when car shopping.
  • 30 percent of respondents said they would consider switching to an EV with 100 miles or less per charge.
  • 40 percent said they would pay up to 20 percent more for an EV relative to a similarly equipped gas vehicle. And 27 percent said they would pay 10 percent more and another 13 percent would pay 20 percent more.

That's the good news. The bad news is that home retrofitting to support EVs is a major hang-up. Only 8 percent of drivers said they would spend $1,000 to $1,999 to retrofit their homes to charge an EV in 3 hours to 5 hours. Homes need a 220v outlet close enough to an EV to charge it. Those retrofits will run you anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.

And then there's the charging station conundrum. Where do you put charging stations? Hint: It's not the street. Indeed, 62 percent of drivers said they parked at a store or mall when not at home or work. The street was No. 2 at 17 percent. Conclusion: Charging stations need to head to the mall.

Here's a selection of questions from the IBM survey.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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