When President Obama made his State of the Union speech in the year 2011 he stated his administration wanted to put one million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by the year 2015. However, according to Time, there are no more than a few hundred thousand of these vehicles in the U.S. at present. While that represents a tiny fraction of total vehicles used by U.S. drivers, there are some statements being made on the impact of electric cars on the automotive industry.
In terms of raw sales electric vehicles are sluggish, but there is growth in popularity. 2014 saw 30,000 sales of the Nissan Leaf, which is an industry leader in terms of electric vehicles. That number might sound small, but it has increased every year as the technology becomes more common and more reliable. There’s still a long way to go between where we are and the million vehicle mark, much less the scenario where electric vehicles equal or outnumber traditional, gasoline-powered vehicles.
In short, electric vehicles are an option that has been embraced by a small minority, but they’re definitely not a game-changer as of 2015.
What Would Have to Change?
The 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Energy remarked that U.S. car owners, overall, tend to be very risk-averse. It’s no wonder that electric vehicles haven’t taken over the market, given that these vehicles are just past their infancy.
Current EVs have several features that are holding them back, including:
– Short Range: Even the most advanced electric vehicles have trouble going over 100 miles on a single charge.
– Lack of Infrastructure: There’s a gas station on every corner, but that isn’t the case for EV charging stations.
– Cost: Electric vehicles cost a lot of money, and they represent a big investment, even with tax credits and advances in technology to lower the price.
– Technological Challenges: EV technology is still being perfected and re-invented, which makes drivers hesitant about investing.
Can Electric Vehicles Have A Bigger Impact?
Yes, they absolutely can. According to this chart it’s predicted that costs will come down until electric vehicles achieve parity with traditional gasoline-powered cars. Once the support system is in place, the costs have come down, and electric vehicles have a proven, reliable track record it’s very likely they’ll be embraced more fully.
Until then, though, the buying public is going to rely more on the time-tested vehicles they know.
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