Friday, March 25, 2011

The Psychology Behind Charging an Electric Car


Electric cars are here.  But are they really here?
Psychologically, I mean.

Using and charging an electric car is a completely new user experience that needs more research and time to develop.  Just like when the first automobile came out, there was a slight learning curve.

You drive, and then when the car runs low on gasoline, you had to go to a place called a gas station.  There is this object that pumps gasoline out and into your car.

In order to support the gasoline car there had to be gas stations.
This is pretty much how it’s been.

So to ask a nation (if not the whole world) to suddenly change to electric cars can be, dare I say, a bit demanding without the proper information, instruction, and guidance.  Sure, there definitely is more to this story than simply throwing money on a large marketing campaign.  But like all causes, there needs to be some simple communication that can be comprehended by the masses.

We’re talking about teaching the fundamentals of driving an electric car.  We need to think about the habitual habits that people have from driving a regular gasoline car and challenging them to think differently about how they drive their car, when to pump, the new places that will become the “fuel,” charging in the garage at night, etc.

In order to support electric cars, there needs to be electric charging stations.
This is pretty much our current dilemma.

Without electric charging station infrastructure, the roll out of electric vehicles is going to be slow.  Who wants to buy an electric car if they are constantly worried about running out of battery?  Also, without the proper technology, how will I know that I’m actually helping the environment and not just displacing our economic, environmental and social issues?

Electric cars are here.  Technology is pushing this industry, and automakers are finally offering electric cars on a mass level.  But are people really ready, and willing, to make that psychological, cultural and habitual change to electric cars?

The verdict?  TBD.

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