The automotive industry is only moving in one direction, but from afar it can seem as if it’s doing so at an unhurried pace.
The primary issue, as ever, is cost. Electric vehicles cost more to make and so cost more to buy. Currently that pricing makes EVs prohibitively expensive for most of the car-buying public. That will change with time, as EV technology develops, demand spikes, and production scales.
Then there are politics and preferences. Some people simply don’t like driving electric cars. Others don’t want to be told that they have to drive one. Mandates will help fix this, but it won’t be pretty so long as people insist on fiddling with the radio while the planet burns.
Another issue is charging stations, or the lack thereof. If the US is to properly match its forecasted sales demand, the number of EV chargers will need to quadruple between 2022 and 2025, and grow by more than eight-fold by 2030. The UK’s Climate Change Committee posits that every 100 kilometres of road will need up to 1,170 charging stations by 2030. At the current growth rate, only a quarter of that number will be in place by 2032.
All of this seems to indicate that the EV revolution’s reach threatens to exceed its grasp. Except that there already exists a quick, convenient, durable, and cost-effective solution that promises to help the “auto EVolution” achieve its short-term aims.