It looks like California couldn’t fail to meet its EV sales goals if it tried. In 2012, Governor Jerry Brown called for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles to be on California roads by 2025, later adding a second goal of 5 million by 2030. How is California able to blow through these goals so easily?
To start, the state contains almost half of the country’s total zero emission vehicles, and with saturation comes normalization, infrastructure, and word-of-mouth advertising. However, a report from Next 10, which claims California is ahead of its goals, also claims that the state is in danger of lagging behind with its EV infrastructure as the amount of vehicles on the road rises. If the national leader in EV adoption is struggling to keep infrastructure up, this should serve as a lesson to Michigan stakeholders: we’ve got to pave the way with infrastructure, or at a minimum, keep pace with market demand.
The report estimates that California will need around 108,000 to 203,000 more charging ports by 2020 to satisfy the demand. If anything, that is a solid case study for potential charging port providers in Michigan. While this year’s Detroit auto show focused mainly on truck news, there’s a good chance that the next few years will get increasingly electric as we move toward the proposed release dates for GM and Ford’s new EV’s. If we want to keep the Michigan auto industry thriving, the state government, utilities and automakers need to remember to look forward to infrastructure demands, even if gas is cheap this year.