ANN ARBOR, Mich.—As automotive companies such as Hyundai and General Motors announced their commitments to fuel cell electric vehicles earlier this month, the question becomes just when the industry and its consumers are ready to embrace the transition from traditional fuel engines.
The Center for Automotive Research, an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit that looks at the mobility industry's impact on the economy and society, explored the transition to electric vehicles and their impact on automotive manufacturers in its Sept. 13 podcast, "Hot Topic: Propulsion systems, consumer acceptance, and its impact to design and manufacturing."
As the automotive industry looks to the future of transitioning to electric vehicles, Carla Bailo, CEO and president of CAR, talked with Brett Smith, director of technology research at CAR, about the variety of propulsion systems on the market and how they impact chief vehicle engineers and manufacturing plants as well as just when and how consumers will embrace the switch to EVs from internal combustion engines.
From the consumer perspective, some of the biggest hurdles this transition faces, Smith said, point to the fear of what could go wrong with EVs, their price tag and what the general public actually cares about when car buying.
EVs or hybrids may not be new technology in the automotive industry, but they're new to most consumers, Smith said, so there's a level of trepidation in making the switch from ICE vehicles.