How can the United States drive EV adoption throughout the US? Our top priority must be customer experience. The consumers’ current perceived and real inconvenience is the biggest barrier to entry.
There are 5 pervasive misconceptions that will need to be addressed:
- EV Charging will destroy the grid: NOT with the proper tech for Distribution, including E2G capabilities.
Utility companies will need to first be prepared and communicate their capacity to handle the increased demand on the grid and load balance based on different needs. Which will require the ability to manage grid loads at different times of the day. All this happens with the ability to collect the proper data, allowing proper planning and load balancing.
Another concern is managing outages and the implications of longer outages in areas increasingly impacted by climate change and the intensification of storms. The comprehensive approach of managing overall communication strategy and natural disaster preparedness takes on new levels of complexity with more households relying on EV vehicles exclusively.
- You’ll need to replace the battery pack for tens of thousands of dollars in a short time
The lifespan of batteries is another area with a lot of confusion. The truth of the situation: battery life is longer than you think. Tesla batteries last for 300,000 to 500,000 miles, or 1,500 battery cycles for example.
Remember the size of your first mobile phone detachable battery? Advancements are made every single day on battery life, size, and environmental impact in manufacturing. Again, with the proper data and network connectivity car and battery manufacturers will begin to see trends allowing for predictive and proactive maintenance along with ongoing engineering improvements.
- Building and charging EVs has a larger carbon footprint than ICE vehicles
This perception has been clearly debunked by data but the perception remains. See the below chart from IEA.org
- There’s nowhere to charge (this is a real concern)
Without question, this is the biggest hurdle for consumer adoption.
Charging stations have these challenges:
- payment method,
- is the charging station functioning,
- is it accessible,
- is there a long line,
- is there space to wait,
- do you need an account,
- what information will you need to open an account,
- at what speed will the station charge, and
- are different adapters required?
That is a LOT of challenges. And the bottom line: it must be as convenient as today’s gas stations (aptly named convenience stores).
Connecting the different OEMs and charging networks is KEY. The Tesla charging network is seamless and with all the different charging networks in play and with the recent announcements with Ford, GM, and others collaborating with Telsa just to provide their drivers this experience, we now see it’s even more important.
Why else would these car manufacturers work with their #1 competitor? There must be an established interoperable network to deliver a streamlined charging process for consumers. This interoperable network will provide the necessary access to data that will become critical in driving EV adoption to the next level.
5. EVs are only for rich people
With adoption of EV vehicles increasing, more car manufacturers are integrating hybrid and fully EV vehicles into their line-up, this includes making more cost-conscious options. The Chevy Volt lists at $26,500 and has a range of 259 miles. When combined with the substantial cost savings and rising fuel prices, EV adoption starts to make this choice a viable option for more people.
LET’S NOT FORGET WHY WE ARE FOCUSED ON EV’s: Reducing fossil fuel burning – which comes from gas-burning vehicles. With each generation, we recognize more and more the focus on sustainability and being responsive to the impacts our lifestyles make on the environment. The facts are clear, GHGs affect the Earth’s temperature, which creates climate change resulting in more and more natural disasters. These disasters affect ALL socioeconomic groups.