Slow To Change - The Delayed Future of Alt Fuel Vehicles
With all of the recent government incentives to promote and develop alternative fuel vehicles, an uncomfortable atmosphere of reluctance pervades the automotive industry. High gas prices drain the wallets of every consumer, forcing many make serious changes to habits and lifestyles, yet manufacturers are slow to develop alternative fuel models.
Interestingly enough, recent research shows that consumer uncertainty and ambiguity towards the new technologies seem to be the main reasons that development is kept in low gear. Now why is that?
Some of the answer lies in the fact that consumers usually take a while to adopt new technologies are goes with the territory of the new technologies. Today, there are many systems in vying for the eyes of tomorrow's consumer, including:
- Fuel Cell
- Hybrid Electric
- Hybrid Fuel
- Natural Gas
Some of these technologies require extensive infrastructure and maintenance facilities. Car makers, already strapped for cash, don't like to cut into profits by experimenting with an uncertain future. However, the recent appearance of prototypes and limited production models has captured public interest and suggests that we might be going somewhere with all of these "alternatives."
Just like it took a while for the Beta vs. VHS and HD vs. Blu-Ray battles to play out, we are quite a ways from knowing which technology will prevail as the new standard.
In the meantime we are left with doubt and uncertainty. The auto industry is aware of this and proceeds with caution.
The auto insurance industry is also part of the story, providing consumers with discounts for alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles. Ideally, with the spirit of innovation bolstered by government policies that encourage sustainable technology, we will make the transition to a greener future.
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