Imagine driving down the road, in perfect traffic conditions, listening to your favorite music. And taking in the sights of your beautiful city as you get to work in record time. Not to mention the money you’re saving on gas and tickets! This hypothetical situation is actually becoming reality as more people are looking into electric cars. But it could all be for nothing if more drivers don’t start purchasing electric cars in the future. Here are some ideas on how to fix the autonomous electric car demand problem once and for all.
The Market Growth Cycle
Most electric vehicles, or EVs, are available in only two trims: an upper-end model and a base version. When a buyer walks into a showroom looking for an electric vehicle. They may see an $80,000 Tesla Model S sitting next to a $28,000 Nissan Leaf. (Both prices are after tax credits.) Tesla is out of their price range; it might as well be invisible. That leaves buyers with only one option: buy a car that isn’t really what they want and doesn’t reflect their values.
One Step at a Time
With autonomous cars now a reality, and tech giants like Google and Apple openly exploring their development, there is little doubt that a driverless future is coming. The problem is one of the time: If autonomous vehicles are so much safer than manually driven cars, why won’t people be clamoring to get them? Why won’t there be immediate demand? And how do we get people ready for these vehicles before they hit showrooms? Our first point of contention is one of awareness. The only thing holding back full-on driverless car mania isn’t technology or production capacity—it’s awareness. People aren’t even aware that they can buy an electric car let alone that they can buy an autonomous electric car.
Focus on Popularity
One of many reasons why so many people are excited about self-driving electric cars is because they are environmentally friendly. They do not use fossil fuels like gasoline, so less pollution will be released into our atmosphere. However, only a small percentage of drivers would actually purchase an autonomous electric car even if it were available for sale tomorrow. The potential problems with autonomous electric cars is going to make it more difficult for consumers to invest in one and ultimately hurt future sales numbers. Here are some of those challenges
Create a Niche
There are several ways to make money from an electric car. The first is simple: You can purchase a pre-owned electric car and sell it for a profit. You can also charge people for rides in your car, though ride-sharing services like Uber have made that option much less lucrative. The real money here is in battery manufacturing, which you could get into through a company called Gildemeister (GLDN). The German company builds powerful lithium-ion batteries and plans to dramatically increase production as orders begin to pour in. Additionally, investors will be able to trade GLDN on Frankfurt’s stock exchange beginning next year.
Become Easier to Use
The issue with getting consumers to purchase electric cars is that they’re more expensive and lack an extensive support network. In order to get over those hurdles, car manufacturers will need to make them easier to use. That means designing them with an intuitive interface and making it as easy as possible for you to charge up at home or on the go. By comparison, Uber made it much easier for people in major cities around the world to hail a ride—and there are a lot more taxis than electric cars right now! Now it’s time for automakers and governments alike to catch up by helping people purchase and recharge their vehicles without much hassle at all.
Make it Part of Everyone’s Life
Right now, electric vehicles are still too expensive for most people. But eventually, when mass-production drops costs and batteries improve, EVs will be cheaper than gas-powered cars—and when that happens there’s going to be a huge uptick in demand. The question is how car companies can make sure they have enough supply to meet all of those future orders without putting a strain on resources. In other words: how do we keep everyone driving their own personal electric vehicle instead of just hording them like collector’s items? It’s simple: by making EVs part of everyone’s life.