The everlasting question: after 100 years of internal combustion engines, how do we know that electric vehicles are here to stay? Especially now, as many car manufacturers do their part to produce medical equipment and consumers focus on social distancing, people wonder if EVs truly are the future.
The short answer: electric vehicles are already here, and demand for EVs and EV amenities will only increase in the next ten years.
There are more EV models than ever before
The number of electric vehicles on the market (both plug-in hybrid and battery electric) has exploded. While electric cars originally appealed to eco-friendly drivers and techies, they are now the preferred everyday vehicle of over one million Americans. The chart in the infographic below, from the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, shows the incredible increase in models and sales since 2011. In 2011, there were only a few electric car models even available in the US. At the end of 2020, there might be over 100 EV models for sale! And by 2040, electric vehicles are expected to even outsell ICE cars. And with greater adoption, has come a wider range of model types for every lifestyle, from luxury sedans to SUVs to pick-up trucks.
With commitments to electrification from leading carmakers such as General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan, the EV market is certainly trending upward. And as sales increase and more carmakers produce their own EVs, economies of scale will boost production efficiency and lower overall costs of batteries and technology. Retail prices are already dropping from $70,000 to $40,000. Pretty soon, electric vehicles will be just as, if not more affordable than the typical gas car.
Drivers want electric vehicles
It’s not just engineers and designers at car companies that want futuristic electric vehicles. According to last year’s Harris/Volvo survey, “nearly three-quarters of American drivers believe electric vehicles are the future of driving.” And according to AAA’s annual poll last year, as many as 40,000 Americans are likely to buy an EV as their next car. Even now, as more drivers are staying off the roads thanks to social distancing measures, there may be even higher appeal for EVs. After seeing the effects of empty streets on local air pollution, a recent survey from the UK suggested that drivers may be even more likely to consider an EV.
Why are drivers considering electric cars? In addition to the environmental and health benefits of zero-emissions vehicles, a survey of drivers in the Northeast last year found that drivers under 40 also consider the cutting-edge technology. Drivers also like that by using local electricity, their fuel is independent from the ever-changing price of oil.
Drivers demand commercial charging stations
With EV sales increasing, drivers want more commercial charging stations. Most drivers charge either at their workplace or at their home while they sleep. The secondary type of charging is “on the go.” Drivers like to plug in at the store or city center while running errands, so they always have a full charge. They also plan vacations around the availability of charging stations at their hotels, rest stops, and tourist attractions.
In surveys, range anxiety, or the worry about running out of juice, is one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption. Range anxiety decreases once a new driver finds places to charge within their normal routine, but charging stations at workplaces, multifamily communities, and public parking are necessary to ease those fears and support future demand.
How businesses support drivers
Electric vehicles are already here, and businesses that plan ahead can support those drivers. While EV sales are accelerating, future drivers need more charging infrastructure. If you manage a commercial property, you can fulfill this essential role by installing EV charging stations. These new amenities at your property will help you attract new business, retain employees who drive electric cars, and reduce carbon emissions. If you are an electrician or general contractor, you can perform the site work and installations that your commercial clients need for their properties.
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