When, exactly, did cars become considered consumer electronics? I suppose when the market for the gadgets inside them became one that that the likes of Microsoft cannot ignore. In any case, electric vehicles will be featured for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Association's 2011 International CES. The rationale? CEA has just released a new survey indicating that 40 percent of American adult consumers would like to test-drive an electric vehicle.
According to the online study, called "Electric Vehicles: The Future of Driving," about one-third of consumers are aware of hybrid vehicle options while only a quarter know much about electric vehicles. The three biggest perceived disadvantages of electric vehicles:
- Running out of battery power on the road
- Lack of charging stations or places to recharge
- Limited mileage potential
Yes, Americans like to roam, and even though more of us are working at home, many of us have commutes that would make electric vehicles unworkable. Some of us dream about driving across the country. My deepening impression as far as electric cars go is this: With America's road trip culture, methinks we are in for a very very long trip, especially if we can't get the charging infrastructure in place. Hey, here's a business idea. Instead of starting a bed and breakfast, maybe I should open up a bed and overnight recharge? Who am I kidding. It will be a long time indeed before the next generation of electric vehicle drivers can emulate Jack Kerouac's "On the Road."