Usedcarsalesman has miscalculated consumer behavior in the past.
For example: When MP3-based music hit the market in the late 90s, he figured people would be turned off by the reduction in audio quality MP3s afforded versus compact discs.
Well Usedcarsalesman was wrong. People went on to purchase MP3s with abandon, happily embracing their ready-availability and musical variety in exchange for a slight decline in sound quality
With this in mind -- that the buying public is willing to absorb certain trade-offs when adopting new technology -- Usedcarsalesman will now approach plug-in hybrid and series-hybrid automobiles such as the Chevy Volt.
Specifically, he asks: "Will consumers embrace Plug-In hybrids or Plug-In Series Hybrids such as the Chevy Volt set to hit the market in late 2010, early 2011? That is, will they mind -- should they have/own a garage or at least a an available power outlet and extension cord -- plugging the vehicle in every time they are back at their house, (Especially when you consider current, relatively low 2 dollar per gallon gas prices and that a 15 minute fill up may power your car or truck for 7-10 days of urban driving)
Well, recalling the MP3/CD matter, Usedcarsalesman believes that consumers will accept the convenience trade-offs inherent inthe Volt. 150mpg is worth the trouble!
Of course, the benefits of The Volt may decline dramatically if a buyer is an apartment/condo dweller without decent AC power receptacles nearby or if you are forced to park on the street.
But if we're talking probably the ideal Volt buyer -- a person with a garage and acceptable power outlets and maybe less than 40 miles of driving to do each day - Usedcarsalesman suspects that they would readily reach for their plugs day in and day out.
However, Usedcarsalesman -- really speaking for himself -- does believe that ready "Volt-pluggers" would not object if manufacturers added a bit more user-friendly automation to the charging process such as described in the following:
- You drive your Volt in to your garage and park your car over a charging receptacle. Your Volt vehicle lowers a conductive contact which engages the charging receptacle thus enabling the Volt to recharge. You, the owner, go inside never giving the idea of charging a second thought.
- If parking with a great deal of precision is somewhat of a chore for you, then perhaps you let the car do the parking for you. Make the auto-park feature available on some Lexus automobiles work in concert with a Volt-specific charging mechanism already installed in your garage. You pull your Volt -- now with "Advanced Parking Guidance System" technology licensed from Toyota/Lexus -- up to your garage and the car does the rest, automatically driving itself in to the garage, over the power receptacle, etc.
Ok maybe this second concept is more "Cadillac Volt" than "Chevy Volt." But Usedcarsalesman thinks automated recharging or auto-parking/recharging could provide that little extra "sugar" -- at least for Usedcarsalesman -- that helps the "medicine" of daily plug-ins go down, even if its a"medicine" that most Volt buyers are more than happy to voluntarily ingest.