To go beyond early adopters sold on the environmental benefits of EVs, automakers will have to shift their marketing emphasis to dollars-and-cents pragmatism, experts say and Automotive News covers. Lower operating costs for both fuel and maintenance will be a key selling point. Speaking at the recent "Business of Plugging In" conference in Detroit, Consultant John Formisano, who retired this year as vice president for global vehicles at Federal Express, said EV makers have a good argument to make. Based on his experience running a fleet of EVs, Formisano estimates that long-term operating costs are around 70% less than for a vehicle with a conventional gasoline engine. That could help persuade consumers to shell out the higher purchase price for an EV.
Consumers looking for a good deal will be a big part of meeting ambitious goals automakers have for selling EVs. They will have to address the issue of consumers having charging stations installed in their garages for $1,500 to $3,000. They can get the federal incentive for a 50% cost reduction, but they still have to take into consideration the time and money involved in making this happen.