Perception Of Electric Car Safety Critical
Consumer perception that electric cars might be more dangerous could stop sales, which is why issues with the Chevy Volt and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation of the car's lithium-ion battery pack are a major area of concern for the industry.
A nationwide survey by Bandon, Ore.-based CNW Research showed a sharp decline in consumer consideration of the Volt in the aftermath of the NHTSA investigation, even though Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Volt is safe to drive.
Jesse Toprak, an analyst for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based TrueCar.com, noted that GM took a long time to bring the Volt to market, working to perfect the complex battery, a primary source of heat generation. He said perception sometimes trumps reality in new technology, and the spotlight on the Volt could upset future GM plans.