One of the main roadblocks people have with electric vehicles is the way they look and the ideas that are culturally associated with them. The car is a classic American love and will probably always have a special place in our hearts. Just asking people about their first cars garners sentimental memories like “I had so many great times in that car.” Usually cars are associated with coming of age and are a huge right of passage in our culture. So how do we bring the car up to date responsibly without alienating customers who are looking for an exciting and traditional driving experience?
This is a big question and I think the company that answers it will really fill a void in the market. Today the trends in vehicle aesthetics are going towards more modern and futuristic designs. For example the Nissan Leaf, it is a great car but is the front end charging port too foreign for customers to relate to? Then there is the BMW i3, probably the car most likely to be mistaken for a Transformer with its dual colored body.
Another gap in the Electric vehicle market is consumer awareness. Companies really need to invest time and major marketing dollars making sure the American public understands the capabilities of electric cars today. No longer can they only drive short distances in clear skies. These vehicles have come a long way and are a great option for daily commuters.
Overcoming these challenges will be difficult but every cutting edge innovation takes time for people to adopt. That’s why designing a car that focuses on driver experience and less on looking cutting edge will help people come around and redefine what people perceive about EV’s.