Pike Research, a cleantech-focused market research firm, released a report last week suggesting that consumers' interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) has declined over the past two years, during the time when many, if not most, of the world's automobile manufacturers have been gearing up to offer PHEV models. Pike found that 40% of consumers in their study were "extremely" or "very" interested in purchasing a PHEV, down from 44% in 2011 and 48% in 2010.
Respondents cited cost, concerns about driving range and the desire to see the technology prove itself as key reasons for their reluctance to embrace EVs.
Given that many of the top electrical manufacturers have been rolling out electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to satisfy demand for places to charge electric cars, the cooling of interest in the vehicles themselves could have a chilling effect on EVSE sales. Pike suggests that 2012 will be an important test of the commercial viability of PHEVs.