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Afraid To Plug In?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by tonybelding, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Hamilton, Texas
    For some reason the Japanese car makers seem to believe their customers are unwilling to plug in a car for recharging. When introducing the Prius, Toyota had an ad campaign to explain to people that they don't have to plug it in.

    You might think that was merely something they had to do when introducing the Prius because it was new and people didn't understand it. That's what I thought. But recently I read another comment from somebody at Toyota, and it seems they are quite worried about introducing a plug-in Prius. They just aren't sure if customers will tolerate the hassles of plugging their car into a wall socket or a charger.

    Which I'm sure you can imagine is so much worse than going to a gas station, filling your car from a pump, checking your oil (you do always check it, right? right??) and then paying.

    There's also Mitsubishi and their i-MiEV. According to the Car Connection: "A microwave wireless recharging system is used. The transmitter is housed on the garage floor, and a receiver is mounted under the lithium ion batteries."

    So it's similar to the old Magne Charge(TM) station for the EV1 -- only less efficient, due to the inevitable gap and misalignment between the transmitter and receiver. Magne Charge was a complex and expensive solution to a non-problem and was soon superseded by a conductive charging system.

    So. . . With this history in mind, why would Mitsubishi return to this WOMBAT (Waste Of Money, Brains And Time)? The only answer I can see is that they believe consumers will rebel at the fearful prospect of having to plug a cable into their car.

    The only complaints I've ever heard from prospective EV buyers is that they may not have a place to plug it in (i.e. if they don't have a garage). The only comments I've ever heard about simply not wanting to plug it in have all come from car companies.

    To me this seems like sort of a "moon dust" problem. During the Apollo program there was a huge worry about whether the lunar lander would sink into the loose dust like quicksand. NASA contemplated various far-fetched ideas, like big inflatable landing pads, to try and solve this problem. As they got further along in development, they got data back from robotic landers, none of which sank into the dust, and they decided it was a non-problem after all. Thus, "moon dust" is my label for any problem that somebody dreamed up and then takes on a life of its own as people seek elaborate solutions despite the lack of evidence that the problem actually exists.

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