Was thinking about this non-quote (it is often attributed to Henry Ford, but no one can find an instance of him actually uttering the sentence) this morning, after seeing another genius automotive writer state that electric cars won’t catch on because the public isn’t asking for them.

If you ask the public these days what is their main reason for buying a specific car, you’ll get a wide range of answers: utility, color, technological features, style, brand, hybridization, gas mileage, great seats, etc… While people don’t have one definitive answer, I do think you can narrow it down to one overriding factor: people are looking for a better product.

It is an awfully simplistic summation to decide that electric cars won’t sell because only a small minority consider it their primary factor when choosing a vehicle. Yet when (not if) manufacturers offer a range of great products which are electrified, will people buy them? In droves. Except for the gear-heads who love driving and tinkering with gas engines (which is a small minority of drivers), who wouldn’t choose a car which is quieter? Which reuses its own energy? Which should have less parts to maintain? Which doesn’t need to stop at gas stations? Which doesn’t create fumes and exhaust and pollution? And most essentially: which costs less to drive and operate?!

As someone who loves to drive and grew up admiring cars and the car culture – and someone who has experience driving my wife’s hybrid – it annoys me that my sedan doesn’t run on electricity or store the energy I waste braking. Electrification will win out in the end because of one simple fact: the product will be better. Or as Henry Ford might not have said: we’re building a better horse.