Home editor's blog on evs & phevs Please, not another meaningless EV survey

Please, not another meaningless EV survey

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coda-ev-battery-replacementeditors-blog-entry3Is there anything more meaningless than yet another survey about what the public thinks about electric cars?

EVs aren’t widely available in the U.S., or anywhere else, and aren’t likely to be for at least another year and a half. And, as hard as it is for EV and solar-EV geeks such as those who tend to land at SolarChargedDriving.Com to believe, most people know little to nothing about electric cars.

This means people are being surveyed – again, and again, and again, about something they can’t buy, can’t test out themselves, and therefore can’t learn about themselves.

Misleading headlines
And, of course, surveys about what the general public thinks about EVs are all over the place in terms of results, with some finding that a lot of Americans are interested in plug-in vehicles, and some finding just the opposite, for instance, a survey by USA TODAY/Gallup whose results were splashed across the front page of Tuesday’s USA TODAY.

Polls which seem to suggest “Americans” (all 300-plus million of them!) will reject electric cars, cloud-based computing, computer-driven cars, or, pretty much anything substantially new and different, are junk, pure and simple.

According to USA TODAY's story about the survey, “Nearly six of 10 Americans – 57% -- say they won’t buy an all-electric car no matter the price of gas.”

Well, at least this story’s lead includes some qualificationin. This contrasts sharply with the headline, which is written in typically broad terms that seem to imply ALL Americans are anti-EV. Here it is: ‘Americans say no to electric cars despite gas prices.’

Guess you, me, and the 43% of Americans who indicated they are willing to consider buying a plug-in in this survey are well, you know, un-American, or not American, eh?

Polls = manufactured news
Putting aside the issue of sweeping headlines that can lead readers to believe that all Americans think A, B, or C – can you tell, I truly detest this type of headline? -- here’s why this poll, and others like it, are nothing more than manufactured vaporware “news”:

  • You can’t accurately poll people on something most of them know little to nothing about;
  • The survey, at least as it’s reported in USA TODAY, seems to presume EV technology will remain the same – forever! It won’t, batteries and EVs will get cheaper and better, a lot better!
  • Finally, a lot of the anti-EV sentiment USA TODAY claims to be capturing with this “scientific” poll, is resistance to anything new. Anytime you ask people about whether they’ll consider making a big change, whether you’re talking about driving an electric car, or moving from desktop to so-called “cloud”-based computing (which Google is trying to get people to do with its new Chromebook computer), it’s virtually certain that at least half, and probably more than half, are going to say, “No, I’m not going to do that, thank you very much.” However, as they see more and more people do that new thing, whatever it is, and see that it works for those people, the naysayers change their mind.

Basically, polls which seem to suggest “Americans” (all 300-plus million of them!) will reject electric cars, cloud-based computing, computer-driven cars, or, pretty much anything substantially new and different, are junk, pure and simple.

They tell us nothing about the future only about what people think they might or might not do in the always nebulous and uncertain future.

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