Three markets for EV buyers

Over a good conversation on Friday with two of my colleagues, we looked at what’s likely to be the reality for electric vehicle market segments. Here’s my opinion on the matter:

1. Activists and early adopters — Think Sierra Club members, Plug in America organizers, people who’ve owned EVs since the 1970s (or the 1990s), or have owned a converted Prius. Early adopters are usually first-in-line buyers of new technology toys. This is a limited market segment, but some are still waiting for their Leaf to come from the factory.

2. High income, educated residents of certain metro market areas — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC, are the obvious ones. You can visit their neighborhoods and see a few plug-ins and several hybrids parked on the streets.

3. Car shoppers — this is, of course, what it will take for green vehicle sales to reach large numbers. They’re influenced by cost comparison; word of mouth experiences from influential car owners they know; Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, Cars.com, and other sources; and safety ratings, convenience and connectivity; performance reliability, and resale value.

Just a few thoughts on the subject. This won’t become clear until a couple of years from now or more.

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