(INDIANAPOLIS) - Electric cars are cool in Indianapolis as of late. Whether that is true with the general public may be another story.
Mayor Ballard's affinity for electric vehicles is well known, with major announcements recently on the electric conversion of the entire city fleet and for what's expected to be the largest electric car-sharing service in the U.S. The Electric Drive Transportation Association also announced this week plans to bring it's annual meeting to Indy starting next year. But hype from government and tourism officials isn't translating into electric and other alternative fuel car sales, at least not yet.
Jeff Daniels, general manager of Toyota and Scion of Muncie, says most customers still opt for traditional fuel vehicles, noting the nationwide increase in the sale of pickup trucks this year.
Daniels says the higher price of electric and other alternative fuel vehicles is one reason for their lag in sales, as high gas prices are not enough to convince many people to try them.
While alternative fuel vehicles tend to sell better in urban areas, Daniels says customers who have to drive longer distances still have "range fear", unsure of whether an electric car will get them where they need to go on one charge.
Technology is improving, and Daniels says he envisions a day when cars that use many different types of fuel will be offered side-by-side by dealers.
In addition to improved batteries on electric and hybrid vehicles, Daniels notes that gasoline-powered vehicles are also improving when it comes to fuel economy, without sacrificing power
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