According to a new study by Navigant Research, consumers are embracing electronic vehicle technologies more quickly than companies who purchase fleet vehicles. Manufacturers of plug-in vehicles are trying not to produce too many, hoping to address the concerns over cost and technologies and spur a greater interest in their vehicles.
Navigant Research expects the annual growth of the market for plug-in electric vehicles to increase by a rate of 30 percent per year between 2012 and 2020. According to their studies, manufacturers have not yet addressed the concerns of fleet vehicle purchasers.
Most fleet purchasers voice concerns of cost and technology. Thirty-seven percent of the 1,001 fleet purchasers who responded to the survey did not believe that the plug-in electric vehicles were more cost-effective to operate over time than ordinary fuel powered vehicles. An additional 37 percent stated concerns over the safety of the batteries installed in the vehicles. Other concerns included worries over the range of the vehicles between charges. Fleet vehicle operators can ill afford to send vehicles on long routes and risk drivers and cargo becoming stranded without a charge.
Other reasons why fleet vehicle purchasers are leery of investing in plug-in electric vehicles are simple unfamiliarity with the technologies, risks, and dangers of the vehicles. Still others are hesitant to invest in unproven technologies in an economy where every dime invested in the business must realize a profit.
According to another study by Pike Research, acceptance of electric or non-fossil fuel based vehicles differs according to region. North American companies and individuals are more likely to invest in plug-in electric vehicle technologies, while those in Europe and Asia are more likely to purchase battery electric vehicles, or BEVs.
Manufacturers of the electric vehicles believe as technologies improve, the cost of these vehicles will experience a decline, making it a more attractive investment for fleet vehicle operators, as well as ordinary consumers.