Gasoline-independence, complete silence, instant acceleration, super-cheap to refuel. Those are just a couple of the advantages electric cars have over their internal combustion counterparts. On paper, they’re a great idea, and they’re becoming increasingly practical for the real world as well. The only caveats they have is range, price, and marketing. Range and price will improve over the years without a doubt, but the marketing is what’s *killing* them before they even get too popular.
They’re currently being marketed as ultra-environmental, super green, and ELECTRIC. Sure those terms are the green party’s wet dreams, but if they only market to people who care about the environment, they won’t get into the mainstream. The makers behind these electric cars have to let go of this niche marketing, and start marketing towards the average Joe. The common Joe doesn’t care too much about environmental friendliness or carbon footprints, he just wants to hear how it performs, how affordable it is, how comfortable and/or luxurious it is. Basically, market it like you would with any car. Sure, you can mention that it’s electric, but make sure to focus on how it saves money as opposed to how it saves the environment.
And now about the cars themselves, make them look normal. I know it’s tempting to put lightning bolts and huge “ELECTRIC” stickers on the sides, but only a green snob will care about that. Most people don’t want their cars to stand out like that, make it look like other contemporary cars. Do what hybrids are doing now, have a small badge saying “electric” on the trunk if you like.
You only need to look at about a decade back to see how this worked for hybrids. Initially, hybrids were marketed just like electric cars, and had obnoxious “HYBRID” signage on them too, but they became truly popular once makers like Toyota started putting the hybrid system into their normal line of cars, such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Perhaps Toyota should make a Camry Electric at some point?