7 Powerful Reasons Why
An ALL Electric Car Future Is Emerging
by Peter Levy
Chances are, the next time you purchase a new car, you’ll consider an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Within the next decade, there’s a 35% chance that you’ll actually buy one. In my opinion, al ALL electric car future is inevitable.
Are Consumers Willing?
Electric cars are going to infiltrate our gas-guzzling national highways at a steep, fast pace. That may seem counter-intuitive: Americans love their big cars and big engines. Year after year the Ford F150 pickup is the most popular car in America. Today, electric cars comprise less than one percent of U.S. vehicle sales. And, because states are now rolling back incentives to purchase electric vehicles, the Trump Administration is open to relaxing MPG standards, and consumers seem unimpressed (and still “range-anxious”) about electric vehicles, many analysts have said that the electric car market may wither completely.
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7 Reasons Why An Electric Car Future Is Inevitable
Despite these significant obstacles, I believe in an all electric car future. Here’s why the lane is shifting:
The New York Times reported that California received a waiver of The Clean Air Act, which lets the state set its own MPG standards. The Golden state, which currently has half of zero-emission vehicles nationwide, announced its intention to stick with the 2012 rule that car manufacturers improve average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Twelve states, including New York, signed on in agreement, together these states comprise one-third of the total US market for new cars. This fuel economy mandate will push manufacturers towards electric vehicles.
Electric Car Pipeline
Auto manufacturers are already preparing for an electric car future. Today, consumer’s electric car selection is slightly better than a few years ago, when the only choices were the pricey Tesla or the more affordable Nissan Leaf. However, just few years from now automakers will offer dozens of electric cars, from Mercedes to Hondas to Fords and most other brands, and the dramatic increase in choice indicates that automakers are preparing for the demand, across price points and vehicle types.
Matter of fact, recently Volvo said they will only make electric and hybrid cars starting in 2019. They have a sales target of 1 Million vehicles by 2025. Currently Volvo makes up less than a half of a percent of overall vehicle sales volume in the U.S. However, it is a step in the right eco-direction for a major manufacturer.
Cheaper to Produce
Today, electric cars are expensive because there aren’t that many of them, and production cost is high relative to the volume produced. But the cost to produce quality batteries for electric cars is coming down, fast. I predict that in 10 years or less electric cars will be priced at the same price points as gas varieties. And the efficiencies will let more companies bring more affordable battery-powered cars to market. We’re already seeing this starting to happen today. For example, GM’s Bolt EV costs less than $30,000 (factoring in the $7,500 federal tax credit) and our data tells us there are about 6,000 available currently. Another way to think of it is that gas vehicle technology has had over 125 years to drive down costs, but modern electric vehicle technology has only been around 20 years or so – so there is lots more room for cost efficiencies.
Range Anxiety, No More
When electric cars first nudged into the market, the truth was, they couldn’t travel very far and recharging stations were few and far between. They remained a city car, going 60 miles tops without needing to be charged. Today’s Bolt can travel nearly 240 miles and newer models will have longer range — as much as 300 – 350 miles, similar to our gas engine cars today. And, it will be easier to find a place to charge them. In early January, three power companies in California (there’s that state again): Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric submitted new plans to the California Public Utilities Commission to collect about $1 billion more from their customers to finance the expansion of the electric vehicle infrastructure with thousands of new charging stations across the state. California aims to have the zero-emission vehicle infrastructure to support 1 million vehicles by 2020. It hit 250,000 towards the end of 2016.
The beauty of electric cars — one that’s not lost on cost-conscious Americans, is that they cost less — way less – to operate.There’s no oil to change for one. The brakes last longer and there are vastly fewer moving parts to wear down and break. Those economies are not lost on fleets — like taxi and ride-sharing services, police departments, energy companies, and businesses who deliver items daily — looking to economize. We’re seeing news of government agencies across the country announcing purchase of electric fleets just this year. Fleets are already driving the trend. And of course the obvious one – you spend less per mile on electricity than you would on gasoline.
While there are some who have said that electric car sales will not really catch on until 2050, I believe that the pace will pick up, swiftly and the shift from one half of one percent of the market to one third of the market in 10 years is enormous. Get ready to plug in and go.
They make you happy
I can’t underscore this enough. Electric cars have terrific torque — which for us laypeople means great acceleration. That makes them safer and, well, super fun. Additionally, the driving experience is blissful. They’re quiet and because the have fewer moving parts, they don’t vibrate. The quality of your ride is greatly improved. And no stopping at gas stations and spilling or stepping on or smelling fuel is a small but appreciated advantage.
They’re good for the planet
I’d like to think that most people are genuinely motivated by the desire to heal the planet. The current sales of hybrids suggests that’s not the case. That said, zero-emissions vehicles don’t harm the planet and in an apples-to-apples comparison, the feel-good factor can be the tipping point to get the consumer to say yes to a brand new electric car.
Over To You
What do you think? Do you see an all electric car future? Will the gas engine still rule the roads in 10 years? Let me know what you think in the comments