We reported earlier this year that according to some business forecasters the EV revolution is coming as soon as 2022--and now we have even more reasons to expect an impending surge of EV popularity. As Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal argues, all the pieces are coming into place to create and sustain a large consumer demand.
To start, Mims points out that EV range is improving drastically, with models like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 offering ranges of more than 200 miles in the $35-$40,000 price range, which is just slightly more than the average new consumer car and doesn’t include the lifetime savings that come from owning a car with less moving parts to worry about repairing.
Automakers are also actively developing robust lineups of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Volkswagen and BMW have made plans to offer every vehicle as a hybrid by 2025, and Hyundai plans to sell 8 hybrid models by 2020. These hybrids will act as good transition vehicles for consumers wary of “range anxiety,” or running out of charge on the road in an EV, as they still offer gas power. However, according to Steve Majoros of General Motors, 90% of trips made in Volt hybrids never use gasoline, and the Volt only has a 53-mile range per charge.
Mims rounds out his argument by citing the rapid proliferation of EV charging stations—ChargePoint, the nation’s largest charging station operator, has 30,000 stations in its network (one-third of the amount of publically accessible gas stations in America). This number is growing as businesses seek to offer charging stations as a new way to attract both employees and customers, and as we’ve reported previously, utilities are also beginning to invest in EV charging infrastructure as well.
Businesses benefit from operating charging stations because they entice consumers to stick around longer, like the Midwest grocery chain Hy-Vee Inc., which is installing charging stations at each of its new locations. Consumers benefit because the only thing better than driving electric is being able to charge anywhere, too.