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Discussion Starter #1
I took our Nissan LEAF in for its first service yesterday at the local Nissan dealership in Milton Keynes. While sat waiting for a lift back to the office I overheard two very different conversations and they got me thinking, what's up with the attitude towards EVs?

The first was great. A customer was walking around their blue showroom LEAF and showing a bit of interest, so out of nowhere a sales guy pops up and asks if he can help. The woman responds as positively as you could imagine "I'm interested in buying a Nissan LEAF". Nice.

It was just GREAT to hear someone up front walk and ask about the LEAF like it was no big deal. Brilliant.

The other was an elderly couple, husband and wife it seems. The woman was clearly interested in the LEAF, looked around it, considered it... husband confidently seemed to roll his nose and eyes and directed her (physically) towards one of the big Nissans (not sure what one, a BIG car) and started to say how this would be much better for said elderly woman.

Later on he was speaking to her and said "you wouldn't want an electric car, would you?" like it was a really heavily loaded or outlandish question, almost as if he was asking "you wouldn't want wheels made of cheese, would you?". I found this a bit bewildering.

What's up with this guy, what's wrong with just the basic concept of an EV, the attitude he displayed it's just... weird.
 

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Ignorance perhaps? Just a lack of understanding, or misconceptions?

Though I still think that EVs are not appropriate for all drivers, at the moment. Someone doing long, daily journeys up and down motorways (e.g. sales rep) would be better in a diesel, until the range & charging time improve. Someone without home charging capability would also be left to the mercy of Chargemaster...!

But for the vast majority of people, a BEV or PHEV would make a lot of sense financially, and practically.
 

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Driving yet another EV!
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I think there are two main issues:

1) Electric vehicles have been for many years the hobby items of those that are seen by the general population as being rather odd (I would happily fit into this category myself, so that is not intended as a criticism)

2) Jeremy Clarkson
 

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I really think that, for many people, EVs are still equated to milk floats.
How many people have you taken for a drive and their reaction has been, without exageration, that their minds have been blown?
Before I took a friend out, he'd asked his partner "What can I say about it? What words will sound nice without actually meaning it?" After the trip he couldn't have been more enthusiastic - genuinely so.

Even my wife, who cares little about cars in general (they just need to be safe and reliable), accepted that I wanted one (because I'm a bit of a geek, so it all fit in) is a convert. Had we not recently replaced her 10 year old car with a new petrol one, she says she would seriously consider an EV next time.

There's a huge mountain to climb in changing perceptions. Some of the oddball looks (Leaf, i3) don't help, but more mainstream looks (Zoe, Outlander) will help there. The Smart EV ad is a great example of marketing done right, the Leaf one which just quotes sales numbers, isn't.

And there's the range issue. We, here, all know the limitations and that it's not actually that difficult to do long journeys, but the man-in-the-street isn't going to be convinced until he knows he can spontaneously undertake a 200 mile (insert your preferred distance here) journey without pre-planning, in the full knowledge that he can get there without stopping, charge once (or overnight) and come back again.

And we have to keep chipping away at the other misconceptions, like battery longevity etc.
 

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I'v had it all, i'v had people love the car i'v even let people sit in it, but at the same time I was charging next to a pub (weatherspoons) I had people screaming you [email protected] fag I never let it get to me even my friends think it's a joke. It's was funny I was on a trip with my friends, we pulled in to the services after I had done 92 miles to get some thing to eat my friends in the back did not know the car was Electric, one of them said WTF when I plugged it in, but all they were talking about was the range like will we run out after I had finished chargeing, I said I'm sure you have strong legs lol.
 

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It's changing. I spent most of the last week at Silverstone for the British GP. When the pub is called the Petrol Head you know you are in good company.

There were a couple of i3s around - ChargeMaster were displaying one and the other was in use as an emergency response vehicle at the medical centre. Both had people crawling all over them with interest and the most negative remark I heard was the usual about being ugly.

On the other hand, Renault were there in force with a fleet of Twizys, and they did receive a fair amount of abuse. Turns out after a few pints Twizy can be rhymed with all kinds of words.
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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I like quirky cars so don't care about ignorant people. I test drove an i3 and then could not think of anything else, other new cars I tested did not compare. I wanted an auto and to get away from diesel but needed to make sure running cost per mile where less than 12p so everything pointed to an i3 REX, apart from higher than normal purchase price I would normally pay but no use waiting any longer plus all the other positives and now rapid charging stations seem to be on the increase I am looking forward to the future of motoring now.
 

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SU-EV convert
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For most I think it's conformism. That's what you resort to when you don't really care. That's why 'bestsellers' are self reinforcing phenomenons. For now, I think all EV buyers are making an informed, personal decision. There's a much bigger element of going with the crowd amongst buyers of Fiesta, VW Golf, etc..

When EVs are more mainstream, people will do the same kind of no brainer EV buying decisions based on a few shorthand criteria : it's for local run-around and commute, easily accessible cost effective charging is available, there's a wide choice of models : it's got to be an EV.
 

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what's wrong with just the basic concept of an EV
As depressing as it sounds, for most people EV's are seen as attempting to fix a problem that just doesn't exist to them. Everyone has grown up with ICE vehicles, these cars have always worked well, they're improving year on year and they're an ingrained way of life. There's no need to change so an EV is a potentially expensive risk that isn't worth taking.

(and yes, I know we know better)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As depressing as it sounds, for most people EV's are seen as attempting to fix a problem that just doesn't exist to them. Everyone has grown up with ICE vehicles, these cars have always worked well, they're improving year on year and they're an ingrained way of life. There's no need to change so an EV is a potentially expensive risk that isn't worth taking.

(and yes, I know we know better)
If people think an EV is a "risk", they know little about the ICE vehicles they drive in.

But again, we know this.
 

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by 'expensive risk' I meant financial rather than mechanical i.e. the usual concerns such as perceived low residual value.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
by 'expensive risk' I meant financial rather than mechanical i.e. the usual concerns such as perceived low residual value.
I restate my remarks. Most wouldn't know the difference, just to keep the oil-burners running (and not taking themselves apart) costs a small fortune compared to electric motor and its few associated parts. ;)
 

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Attitudes are very split, and it's a ripple effect. Just had a pleasant conversation with a colleague (opened with "you drive an electric car, don't you??!") all about her impending Outlander PHEV. One of her colleagues got an i3 Rex recently, and after realising an Outlander would only cost her about £30 a month (since BIK tax is so low) joined the company car scheme to get the Outlander! Her description "as soon as I drove away I LOVED IT, so smooth and quiet!" says it all. The rEVolution is truly beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
opened with "you drive an electric car, don't you??!
Just to brief anyone reading, the correct answer to this is "Yes, as do all the wonderful folk on SpeakEV.com. You should too, so you can join us at SpeakEV.com and be awesome too".

In case anyone is ever left floundering for a response.

;)
 

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I don't think she's the internet forum type, but I'll give it a go next time I bump into her ;)
 
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I think the attitude is based on fear of the unknown. EVs have been portrayed by the mass media as oddball, slow, with insufficient range and there's a perception that traction batteries may not last and cost £10k to replace.

That's enough for most people to lose interest until someone they know gets one and starts enthusing about all the positives.

Also, I think that recent positive publicity for the i3 and Tesla Model S are beginning to change perceptions.
 

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There is another problem where OAP's are concerned. My parents loved the idea of my Volt, they have always been as enviromently friendly as possible and the Leaf would be the perfect car for them.

:mad:They bought a Dacia, and the reasons was not price or that the Leaf looked "funny". It was because the control systems/radio etc are just to complicated for them.
Dads mobile has two functions 1. make calls and 2 receive calls, thats it, he has the most basic phone and still got the shop to turn off text etc.
If someone started making the Dacia style EV he would have one tomorrow. He wants a radio/CD player, no sat nav, the controls for heat etc all on clearly separate labled buttons/nobs and said when he looked in the Volt defiantly not "two stupid tv screens"

EV's are great if you are willing to learn new things or just like gadgets, but not so good if like my dad you can't even control the Video recorder (yes really he still has one and has just paid £100 to have it fixed) that he has owned for the last 15 years.
 

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If someone started making the Dacia style EV he would have one tomorrow. He wants a radio/CD player, no sat nav, the controls for heat etc all on clearly separate labled buttons/nobs and said when he looked in the Volt defiantly not "two stupid tv screens"
A couple of choices are available: C-Zero/iOn/iMiev is as basic as it gets and the Renault Fluence was hatcheted in the reviews for being 'too normal' and not having enough tech.
 
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