Finally, auto industry starts to admit: electric vehicles are better

Electric cars are often touted for their financial and environmental benefits, but there’s another major perk they offer to consumers.

They’re very nice to drive.

Tesla Model S (Image: AutoExpress)

Tesla Model S (Image: AutoExpress)

Many drivers have been won over by electric cars’ near-silent operation and instant torque delivery.

Now, there’s at least a glimmer of hope that carmakers may finally begin promoting those qualities as they seek to sell more electric cars.

Low gas prices dampened sales in 2015, but carmakers will have to produce more electric cars to meet stricter emissions standards nonetheless.

That is spurring automakers to promote the benefits of electric cars more aggressively, judging from the tone of a panel discussion at the 2016 SAE World Congress covered by Wards Auto.

“Quite frankly, we’ve been bad at explaining our technology to customers,”

Larry Nitz, executive director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering at General Motors, said.

Indeed, many electric-car advocates have expressed frustration with inadequate marketing of plug-in cars by GM and other companies over the past five years.

Nitz believes word-of-mouth marketing will help deal with general consumer ignorance of electric cars.

Current owners can help promote electric cars by sharing what they like about their cars, Nitz said, including how nice they are to drive.

Those positive reactions seem to be the norm.

Jackie Birdsall—executive engineer, Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America—said she doesn’t know anyone who, after driving an electric car, wanted to go back to internal combustion.

Read more: Green Car Reports

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