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Electric vehicle manufacturers need to focus on economy as well as environment, says new study

J.D. Power study says consumers want to save money as well as the planet by buying an electric vehicle – and that automakers like Chevrolet, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Tesla better listen up if the electric market is to survive in coming years.

By now, the novelty of electric vehicles has worn off as Chevy, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Tesla among other manufacturers are up and rolling. Now it’s time to focus on dollars and cents as well as the environment if the industry isn’t going to remain a marginal, barely significant blip in the sea of new autos available for sale in coming years, a new study says.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Electric Vehicle Ownership Experience Study, recently released, electric vehicle purchasers cite driving an environmentally-friendly car as being the top benefit of ownership. But for those who don’t yet own an electric vehicle, the study says, it’s all about the bucks, baby.

“Current EV owners focus on the emotional benefits of owning an electric vehicle–which are having a positive effect on the environment–but the way for manufacturers to take EVs to the masses and increase sales is to address the economic equation,” says Neal Oddes, senior director of the green practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “There still is a disconnect between the reality of the cost of an EV and the cost savings that consumers want to achieve.”
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