Could Cheaper Electric Vehicles Lead to More Customer Dissatisfaction?


Could Cheaper Electric Vehicles Lead to More Dissatisfied Customers?
Could Cheaper Electric Vehicles Lead to More Dissatisfied Customers?

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles have been on the rise, 69% more this May compared to last, but is this a good thing?

Part of these increases could be attributed to the seasonal shift in gasoline prices, because seasonal travel is sure to go up. Thanks to the availability of more fuel-fuel efficient vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles, not to mention great super-efficient conventional vehicles, consumers have more choices that enable them to save money on fuel as fuel prices go up.

For those considering an plug-in vehicle, such as the Chevy Volt or even the Honda Fit EV, sales have been OK, but now that all the first-adopters have already have theirs, automakers are looking to boost sales somehow. The problem is that the demand isn’t where they were expecting, and there’s a backlog of electric vehicles already manufactured for people who haven’t bought them yet.

Nissan’s already dropped the price of the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle by $6,400, which saw a corresponding increase in sales. Honda cut the Fit EV lease from $389 to $259 and is looking to increase the dealers that support it to more than 200 from just 36 right now. Ford Focus EV has seen its price cut by $2,000 as well.

Lower prices are good, but Steve Center of Honda says that maybe “creating artificially low prices and [attracting] people who might not be best suited for an electric vehicle… will get a certain percentage of people who are going to be dissatisfied with the EV experience.” Electric vehicles may not be for everyone, given their limitations right now, and addition of infrastructure will certainly go a long way toward helping these new owners. Center believes that bad experience of first-time owners could lead to future backlash, but I think the best thing that we can do is educate them.

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