Three Pillars of Electric Vehicle Growth

Many of us understand that electric cars are becoming more popular. There’s been a move away from gasoline engine to EVs and hybrids. But how solid and enduring will this trend be?

A lot depends on how governments and businesses structure their approach to plug-in cars. It might seem like electric cars are hot right now, but they need specific support to really take over.

The Infrastructure Issue

One of the biggest questions is how quickly stakeholders can put charging stations and other EV infrastructure on American roads.

Drivers often want to go further than the range that current EV vehicles offer from home. That means they’ll need to stop and plug-in part of the way through the trip.

A 2009 article from Scientific American quotes PriceWaterhouseCooper auto leader Steve D’Arcy saying that “inadequate infrastructure … will delay a widespread shift to electric vehicles.”

Commuters and others want to see fast-charge options to reduce what experts are calling “range anxiety.” They also want better battery design and additional built-in range. But adding charging stations would bolster the general trend toward EV adoption.

The Regulatory Environment

Government action in America will also affect the market for plug-ins and electric motor cars.

Just this month, Slate’s Farhad Manjoo reported on the administration’s outlook for the auto industry. By loosening fuel economy rules, Trump could be pushing EVs further out of reach. Experts cited in the article claimed that EVs need current regulatory support.

Public Awareness

A third pillar of EV success involves changing public awareness.

An article by Navigant Research shows that two thirds of respondents agree that EVs enjoy superior design. Six out of ten said plug-ins will be cheaper to own over the long-term. But that doesn’t really translate into market outcomes.

Drivers want to know that they’ll continue to get federal tax rebates for EVs. They want to know that they’ll get good support from their local mechanics. They want to be sure that one of these new cars is a good investment.

Time will tell how much of a hold plug-in sales have on the North American market. Promoting EVs will be a collaborative work. Think about how much sense it makes to back a  technology that’s good for the environment.

By Justin Stoltzfus
Updated: March 23, 2017