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IBM Study: Interest, Concerns about Electric Cars on the Rise

Photo: Tammy Mobley

Although there is plenty of hype over the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, car manufacturers will need to take into account concerns about convenience, performance and recharging, according to a report by IBM.

The survey found that many consumers – nearly one in five – said they were “likely” or “very likely” to consider purchasing an electric vehicle when needing a new car. Furthermore, 40 percent said they would pay a premium of up to 20 percent for an electric-only vehicle.

Although there is interest about the cars, 40 percent of consumers said they knew little about electric vehicles. The IBV study recommended car manufacturers also target commercial or other consumers such as the military.

On the flip side, many consumers were unwilling to upgrade their outlets to accommodate an electric vehicle, which could cost up to $2,000.

Convenience is another sticking point, according to Kal Gyimesi, IBM’s Institute for Business Value automotive lead and co-author of the study.

“Even under optimal circumstances, fully recharging an electric-only vehicle takes hours,” he said. “So, it is crucially important that we build an infrastructure that can charge vehicles where their owners park them for extended periods of time – whether that is at home or at work, school, or the store.”

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