A recent Los Angeles Times article entitled: Commentary: I’m ready to trade in my electric car. Here’s why… shares the essence of the biggest barrier to electric cars hitting the road at speed.
“..after three years, I am thinking seriously of trading it in for the gas-powered hybrid plug-in version.
Why? Because as much as I love my car, I loathe that I can’t travel around California, a state that has led the electric car revolution, with confidence that I can get a charge when I need one.”
This, unfortunately, is heard all too often. This is regularly cited as the reason people are interested in electric cars but not yet pulling them into their garages. OH, and that misery is even WORSE if you don’t own a garage!
So the question that states, organizations, municipalities, electric car manufacturers and utility companies are asking is this: What will need to happen to make adoption of electric cars mainstream?
Remember the days when you could ONLY get cash from the ATM of your own bank or couldn’t see your current balance? Are we really expecting consumers to live in that world AGAIN? I THINK NOT!
Let’s take a look at consumer expectations in other arenas. We see how consumers’ expectation of online retailers has elevated their experience with Amazon.
What are the expectations of customers when it comes to fuel? There are over 145,000 fueling stations across the United States with at least 10 pumps per station. Gas stations at every exit off the interstate, on every other street corner, so close that even those that like to play the game of “the light is on” aren’t truly worried.
For electric car drivers, there are even more factors in play to the mileage their car gets: battery, use of the air conditioner, tire pressure, driving style, speed of driving and wind, just to name a few. This makes the availability of charging stations and the efficiency of those stations an important factor for consumer purchasing decisions. AND let’s face it, will consumers deal with all these variables? NO.
A recent IBM study shared this finding: The IBM study revealed that executives* estimate that 40% of new car sales will be all-electric by 2030. Executives surveyed believe that most consumers are motivated to obtain an EV due to widespread access to charge points (67%), environmental awareness (66%), and the ability to charge at home (63%).
The key insight gleaned here is that charging is top of mind for consumers. Whose responsibility is this charging dilemma?
The time is now and the opportunity is here.
Governments across the globe continue to work to fulfill their constituents’ needs and collaborate with the entire ecosystem needed to scale and support this initiative. Thanks to the US Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office and the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) which created the groundbreaking creation of a joint office including DOE and DOT called The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, put in place to lead the way for the US EV infrastructure buildout.
This office, led by Gabe Klein, provides valuable funding, guidance, requirements, research, and resources to strategically deploy the electric vehicle charging infrastructure and establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability.
More on this in my upcoming LinkedIn Live on June 6th from 8:30-9:30 CT – more details to come!