EV’s Are The Future of the Automotive Industry… But When?

It’s no secret that the world is moving in the direction of clean energy. Nations around the world are now recognizing the threat of reckless pollution and are working together to mitigate our effect upon the environment through initiatives such as the Paris Agreement.

The transition from internal combustion engines towards electrically powered vehicles is one of the main concerns, but the timeline isn’t definite.

According to Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, a ban on the sales of combustion engines in California alone would take at least a decade.

That’s saying a lot, considering that Gov. of California Jerry Brown — a man who is considering following the footsteps of China, France, and the U.K. when it comes to barring combustion engines — is one of the most vocal elected officials in the U.S. on combating climate change.

Volkswagen, BMW, Volvo, Daimler AG, — The parent company of Mercedes Benz — and even Ford have begun to plan and invest for the future of electric vehicles. Tesla itself leads the pack after creating the affordable Model 3.

Even with states like California, which has the ability to set regulations for emissions through the Clean Air Act of 1970, there are hurdles to cross.

“There is not, in any of these places, policy follow-up to ensure that these goals are met,” says Secretariat for the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance, Nic Lutsey. “No plans, no blueprints, no teeth. These pronouncements are the governmental equivalent of pledging to drop 100 pounds without considering details like diet or exercise.”

Then there is the matter of the automotive market. It turns out, that while up to 30% of Americans consider buying an electric vehicle, only about 3% actually go through with the purchase. According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

This is largely due to misunderstandings when it comes to EVs. Many people think that they will be less fun to drive, but performance standards have been on the rise. There are also concerns that cost-to-own is too high, but while EV build quality and purchase prices are rising, the International Energy Agency (IEA) points out that this isn’t an accurate portrayal of the bigger picture.

“The average price of EVs rose again in 2016, but this reflects faster growth in more expensive models and does not take account of increases in driving range through battery improvements” Reports the IEA. “…the average price per kilometre of driving range declined by 6% in 2016.”

The proposed GOP tax overhaul, otherwise known as the HR1 Bill, which passed the Senate on Dec. 2, also poses to eliminate the $7,500 tax credit for electric car owners. Which could lessen the incentive to purchase an electric vehicle over one that runs on a traditional combustion engine.

Yet, major players in the automotive industry remain unconcerned and move forward towards the eventual transition.

Volkswagen, BMW, Volvo, Daimler AG, — The parent company of Mercedes Benz — and even Ford have begun to plan and invest for the future of electric vehicles. Tesla itself leads the pack after creating the affordable Model 3.

Without a set plan, electric vehicle dominance will take at least 10 years, but we should still expect a growing presence within the industry between now and then.

Feature Photo: Credit to Mikes Photos from Pexels.com