Why electric cars?
It is strange to think that the electric car (EV’s) was first developed around 1884.
The electric car has had a renaissance over the past 30 years due in part to many governments around the world introducing ‘Clean air acts’ to reduce pollution. The initial uptake in people buying EV’s was poor; they were expensive, the choice was limited, low driving range and there were limited places to charge the car.
However, in 2020 global sales for EV’s were nearly 2.5 million and that is expected to rise by 70%. With analysis indicating that China will be the driving force behind EV sales at 44%, followed by Europe at 28% (1)
What is causing the increase in sales?
Increase in affordability
The first Tesla in 2008 that sold at £108 000 was out of the price range for many. As research and development of EV technology are decreasing, costs of manufacturing have decreased, and many companies have developed EVs with price points more suitable to the everyday consumer.
Countries are also offering financial incentives to either purchase or loan EVs. This could be from reduced or no car tax, reduced VAT, free parking in areas and no charges in low emission zones.
As more places offer these types of incentives, more people will invest in an EV.
Increase in choice; from Tesla to Volkswagen
The choices available from the type of model to the manufacturer has increased dramatically. The European Federation for Transport and Environment have stated Europe should expect 22 new models of EV this year, 30 in 2022 and 33 in 2023. (2)
You can now buy small City car EVs to large SUV type EV’s. No one wants to be driving around in the same car as their neighbour, increasing the choice will increase the appeal to the consumer.
Increase in Infrastructure for EV’s
One of the major problems with EV’s is that of charging the battery. Many are unable to park next to their house to charge their cars. Overall, there is a lack of charging points. This is starting to change. Countries are now investing in developing the infrastructure for EV vehicles.
Germany has designated $2.8billion to improve the EV infrastructure. Similar to China which has also invested $318 million in its charging infrastructure.
The UK has developed a scheme to allow Local Authorities to install charging points in streets where there is a lack of private parking.
With countries investing in the EV infrastructure, it is more appealing for the consumer as they know they will be able to charge their car.
Increased driving range of EV’s
The driving range of the most affordable EV’s is comparable to that of other cars. The range has been increasing year on year; the Tesla roadster which is released next year has an estimated range of 600 miles (3).
The range was amongst the major concerns of investing in an EV, but it should no longer be a concern for consumers.
Buying electric cars has always been appealing for environmental reasons but always out of reach for the average buyer. With increases in affordability, range, choice and EV infrastructure, buying and maintaining an electric car is getting easier.
- Kevin Adler,’IHS Markit forecasts global EV sales to rise by 70% in 2021’ IHS Markit forecasts global EV sales to rise by 70% in 2021 | IHS Markit, 19th January 2021
- Eoin Bannon, “Electric surge: Carmakers’ electric car plans across Europe 2019-2025”, European Federation for Transport and Environment, https://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/electric-surge-carmakers-electric-car-plans-across-europe-2019-2025, accessed 1 June 2020