Many drivers not interested in electric cars, but fleets could benefit

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FILE- In this May 27, 2018, photo a 2018 Model X is plugged into a charging station at a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo. Cold temperatures can sap electric car batteries, temporarily reducing their range by more than 40 percent when interior heaters are used, a new study found. The study of five electric vehicles […]

A day after Wednesday’s announcement that there could be a deal to put an electric vehicle maker into the GM Lordstown facility, a report from AAA shows most Americans are not likely to switch over to electric just yet.

But what private citizens want and how businesses could benefit from the technology are vastly different. 

AAA’s latest survey shows that Americans have an interest in electric but when asked if they think most vehicles will be electric by 2029, only 4 in 10 said yes.

“Electric cars are quickly becoming more common, with more than 200,000 on the road across the country today,” said Mike Hoshaw, vice president of automotive services for AAA East Central.  “We believe that there is a gap between interest and purchasing electric vehicles because most Americans aren’t equipped with the full scope of their capabilities and efficiencies.”

Businesses that rely on transportation for services fully understand how electric vehicles can impact their bottom line in a big way. 

According to a report by CBS News, battery costs for electric vehicles continue to fall and global sales of pure electric trucks are expected to grow, especially with mail services and utilities. The report says most electric trucks on the road will be medium-duty vehicles, delivery vans or garbage trucks. 

Workhorse Group, Inc. designs and builds high-performance battery-electric vehicles including trucks, aircraft and drones. It’s those delivery vans and trucks that the company would be making if it moves into the Lordstown facility. 

While the company cited a decrease in the volume of trucks delivered last year, they announced in February a deal with DHL to provide the delivery service with a fleet of electric cargo vans as part of DHL’s “last-mile” delivery service. 

The vans are capable of running up to 100 miles on a charge, according to a new release by Workhorse Group.

Workhorse is also working on a big contract with the United States Postal Service. The proposed contract is for $6.3 billion to build 180,000 trucks over five years.

It is uncertain how long it will take private consumers to plug into the idea of electric vehicles in a big way, but millennials are more likely to get on board, according to AAA. The stumbling block for about 59 percent of consumers is uncertainty about how electric vehicles perform at highway speeds or in traffic. Charging options and price are also issues that may hold back many drivers. 

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