Habits are hard to break for most of us, especially those formed in young adulthood and cemented into our lifestyle. New modes of hybrid and electric vehicles are cropping up like fad diets. Drivers are struggling to choose the best fit and automakers are scrambling to keep up with the trends.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what the future holds for a specific class: fully electric vehicles. From the cost of different models to what’s in store for next year, we scoured the web for pertinent information on the future of fully electric vehicles.
Auto Industry Struggling to Keep Up
When it comes to the main differences between fully electric vehicles and one with an internal combustion engine, there aren’t many. However, the differences have made it difficult to market on a mass scale like traditional vehicles. The battery must be charged to operate a fully electric vehicle and it doesn’t have an engine.
For drivers who are versed in hybrids, making the switch to an EV might make more sense. With an internal combustion engine and a hybrid motor, getting used to a fully electric ecosystem shouldn’t be a tough transition; or so the auto industry thought. Gas-fueled vehicles have operated the same for 100 years and drivers have never had a second thought about convenience. In almost every city in the United States, corners of intersections are littered with gas stations. Charging stations for electric vehicles are just starting to show up and are much less abundant.
This leads to an array of new questions for drivers looking to make a new purchase:
- What’s the range and the battery life?
- Is there an appropriate infrastructure for charging en route to work/home?
- Is a fully electric vehicle worth the extra maintenance costs?
In urban areas where charging stations are more readily available, these questions are less important. Short commutes are perfect for electric vehicle drivers, especially those who commute from work to home in less than 20 miles round-trip.
What’s in Store for the Future?
So, with all the extra questions and fully electric vehicles only being attractive to a smaller demographic, what has the auto industry proposed to mass-market their product? A small quell to growing concerns is that drivers can charge their EVs in the garage; they can’t gas up there. Unfortunately, this small convenience isn’t enough to flip an entire generation of those who grew up driving internal combustion engine vehicles. With new legislation coming into play however, parking spaces in newer buildings must be outfitted for EVs.
Even with new charging infrastructure, upwards of 90 percent of drivers are still doing most of their charging at home due to the fear of running out of charge. Another problem is that not all EVs are created equal. Different charging tech makes it difficult to streamline the processes. There is currently no “standard” for EV charging like there is for standard vehicles (unleaded, premium, diesel, etc).
Automakers have finally invested money into newer models that may help create that standard. ChargePoint and ElectrifyAmerica, two of the largest charging station manufacturers/providers, have agreed to collaborate. As of June 2019, the charging giants will join forces to offer more public EV charging access, according to a press release by ChargePoint. Another industry giant, Tesla, has partnered with Amazon Home Services to make it easier for 240-volt installation in home garages.
Although automakers and others in the EV industry are making changes to mass-market their products, the onus seems to be pushed back into consumers’ laps. For those who don’t have a garage or consumers who may not be able to afford an in-home charging station, what is the real future for fully electric vehicles?
This seems to be a question for the powers that be and we look forward to seeing them answer it. Hit us in the comments with your questions, feedback, or what you think the future of electric vehicles has in store.