With rising fuel prices and peak oil concerns, the vast majority of drivers would prefer an electric car if all things were equal (price, maintenance costs, performance). Encouraging the growth of the consumer electric car industry falls into two categories: technology and government incentive. Another possibility to increase growth is to encourage consumers to use of quote comparison sites to get affordable rates for car insurance.
This is an are where nothing can be done overnight. Vehicle performance, cost of production, charging convenience, these are things the car manufacturing industry is working on, but are limited by today's battery technology. As the technology advances, performance will naturally rise while costs will naturally fall.
Some of the largest strides are being made in the convenience of operating an electric vehicle. The latest offerings generally incorporate the ability to recharge the vehicle from regular household electricity sources. Being able to easily and quickly recharge an electric car at each end of a trip effectively doubles its driving range.
While positive, these changes do not much to encourage more people to switch TODAY. For that, there are various strategies being proposed by governments.
Allowed single passenger use of carpool lanes would encourage many to make the switch. Being able to use the carpool lane can shave a significant amount of time off highway commutes. While this would encourage new electric car drivers, it's effect would be limited to those with short commutes as today's all-electric vehicles have a very limited drive range per charge.
Toll discounts are another category of incentive that could encourage more electric vehicle ownership. Like carpool lanes, toll roads are often a convenience over standard lanes because they can reduce commute time. Unlike single passenger carpool lane use, offering toll discounts would bring about an instant, quantifiable financial saving over a non-electric vehicle. In certain areas, use or avoidance of toll roads is an intrinsic part of planning the most efficient travel route.
Much of the potential petroleum savings from a large scale switch to electric cars would have been discovered in the hordes of drivers who commute within large cities. For this demographic, the single largest incentive short of a direct subsidy would be a discount on parking fees. For those who work in large cities, parking a vehicle can be as costly as the owning vehicle itself. A hefty parking discount for electric cars would result in a wholesale switch for those who commute and park within the city in question. Forward thinking city governments are taking a hard look at the concept of offering parking discounts to exchange a slight drop in city revenue for the many potential advantages offered by a mostly electric commuter population.
As technology improves, the performance and cost gap between internal combustion vehicles and electric vehicles continues to narrow. Occasionally, these improvements, along with rising petroleum fuel costs will combine to tip the scale firmly in the direction of electric cars. To encourage that point to occur sooner, incentives like free parking will allow more people to make the switch without being forced to pay more to be environmentally responsible.
Source by Colin B Woods