Are electric vehicles the way of the future? Electric vehicles are an exciting new market. Learn the basics of this burgeoning technology.
EVs had a strong first quarter
While the entire industry is in the process of rebounding, the biggest story to come out of the first quarter sales report concerns EVs. Once a niche market, EVs and hybrids are rapidly eclipsing their internal combustion cousins.
In the first quarter of 2021, EVs and hybrids sold 60% over the same time last year to become 8% of the total market. Of the 300 total models available on the market, over a quarter are EVs or hybrids. Perhaps more telling is the fact that the major luxury models were all outsold by EVs from Audi, Porsche, and Tesla.
Increase in charging stations
No one likes high gas prices, but what has historically caused a lot of hesitancy over purchasing plug-in models is the lack of supporting infrastructure. However, as the number of these vehicles on the road increases, so too will the demand for more charging stations. An even better indicator is the fact that the one-percenters will be the ones demanding the infrastructure. When the ultra-rich want something it usually happens. So as plug-in stations proliferate, expect to see the demand for EVs rise.
More OEMs building EVs
Every OEM has read the writing on the wall with nearly 40 EV and hybrid models scheduled for release in the next five years. Perhaps most indicative of the widespread embrace is the simple fact that Ford released an EV version of the F-150 in May. If the king says it’s time for EV, it’s time for EV.
California taking the lead
In terms of long term prospects, California, where 1/8 of the entire US population lives, has declared an attempt to go fully electric on the roads by 2035. While California is only one state, it has often been a trend-setter in this regard, especially for any large urban areas. Large urban areas, are incidentally, where EVs will thrive with plenty of places for charging stations and commuters looking for a break on gas prices. And for those eyeing the data that California lost population for the first time in its history, remember, that shift was driven by pricey real estate more than anything else. Those transplants are unlikely to change their positive views on EVs, especially if they relocate to other cities.
The major concerns for a lot of adopters boil down to two things: range and cost. Both are entirely legitimate worries for any buyer, and so they deserve to be taken seriously. The good news on both fronts is that both are in the process of improving.
Perhaps most indicative of the widespread embrace is the simple fact that Ford released an EV version of the F-150 in May. If the king says it’s time for EV, it’s time for EV.
Range is how far an EV can travel on a single charge. As with any figure like this—mpg springs to mind—this is a ballpark figure that tends to average, or even ignore, a ton of factors. A test on the Nissan Leaf found that the vehicle actually exceeded its listed range. Granted, this was under ideal circumstances (weather is important for an EV’s charge), but being able to handle over 200 miles of Los Angeles traffic on a single charge is nothing to scoff at.
These are the kinds of ranges that we’re beginning to see. For standard uses, this is more than enough. If 200 miles doesn’t solve your commute, you might want to think about a job closer to home. The only thing they can’t do is road trips, but again, the more we see on the roads, the less this will be true.
Cost in an EV comes down to cost per kilowatt hours in the battery. In 2020, that figure stands at $137, and experts pointed to $100 as the point where the cost of an EV would achieve parity with internal combustion engines. $100 is now well within reach, and the technology—driven by increasing demand—continues to advance rapidly. The target has already shifted to $60. If this can be achieved, and there is no reason to think it cannot, the overall cost of an EV will be lower than a comparable internal combustion option.
Fuel Cell competition
Even as EVs are poised to take increasingly prominent places in the market, the next generation of alternate fuel vehicles are being developed. Hydrogen fuel cells are just beginning to make their way into the market, primarily for heavy-duty trucks. Toyota, Hyundai, Daimler, and Volvo all have these vehicles in the works. The technology itself is dizzying, but we will be seeing hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road. As with EVs, the allure is cheaper, cleaner, and free of troubling international entanglements.
EVs and other alternative-fuel vehicles are the way of the future. They’re an exciting market that continues to improve every day, and a great way to diversify your inventory.