If We Want More EV Acceptance, Manufacturers Have to Think Small

If manufacturers are truly serious about widening the appeal of electric vehicles, the market could use more Nissan LEAF and Hyundai Kona electrics. Remember, our current dependence on the automobile was built on the back of everyman’s Ford Model T and not the wealthy’s Cadillac.

Many of the makers committing themselves to a major shift toward electric vehicles are mostly luxury brands. And, as we’ve so far seen, volume manufacturers introducing electrics seem to be skewing their efforts toward a more well-heeled clientele. Given the higher costs of current electric vehicle technology, it’s understandable.

Hyundai Kona Electric (Image: Hyundai)

Hyundai Kona Electric (Image: Hyundai)

Still, within recent launches of high-dollar electric cars, trucks and SUVs are echoes of the large, flashy cars with big fins and massive chrome bumpers that marked the end of the 1950s. It wasn’t until an imported air-cooled economy car called the Volkswagen Beetle with an ad tagline suggesting that we “Think Small” that affordability took center stage.  Perhaps manufacturers need to take a step back and think small to provide electric alternatives for average car buyers.

The key to affordability is to get over the relentless push to increase range to 600 miles or more on a charge. Unlike a traditional car, where you can make a tank bigger at minimal costs (in fact, on gas cars it’s more a question of space than cost), increasing range from bigger batteries comes at a huge cost in electric vehicles.

Read more: autoevolution

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