Industry Market Trends
Sobering Numbers Indicate a Depressed State for EVs in the U.S.
October 17, 2012
As has been usual in recent history, there's a bunch of grim news for those who believe electric vehicles are the future of American transportation. First, a study, titled "Electric Drive by '25: How California can Catalyze Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles by 2025," sponsored by Bank of America, and co-authored by Ethan N. Elkind, a climate policy associate for UCLA School of Law's Environmental Law Center and the University of California's Berkeley School of Law, identified three problems that have slowed consumer adoption of EVs and offered three solutions. "California represents a huge portion of new car sales -- 11 percent of overall new car sales every year, and 20 percent of hybrid vehicle sales," Elkind told me for ThomasNet.com Green & Clean. Elkind, who wrote the report with research associates and business leaders from various sectors in the electric vehicle market (carmakers, battery companies, public agency officials, electricity experts, etc.), says, "It has also taken the lead legislatively, but with this paper we tried to show a few more things that can be done to help the transition more." As Elkind and his group see it, the three biggest obstacles to EVs becoming commonplace are:
- Lack of accurate consumer info about electric vehicles. "People aren't aware of what electric vehicles can do, and they don't go into dealerships asking about them," Elkind says. "There's also a lot of misinformation about them -- that they're not safe, not environmentally friendly."
- Initial cost driving away consumers. "We hope there will be improvements in battery research, and that could eventually bring down the cost," Elkind says. "With natural gas and solar panels, we've seen some price declines, so there will definitely be movement in this area."
- Lack of charging stations available for EV owners. "This is primarily a problem for the private sector, because private companies will mostly be installing them," Elkind says.