Barriers to Electric Vehicles
Why wouldn’t you buy an Electric Car?
By 2030, we expect the percentage of EV sales to grow to 30%, but barriers are still slowing down mainstream adoption. The same factors of price, range, and infrastructure are heard repeatedly, with issues of access, and equity.
For price and range, consumers say they’d consider switching to an EV at 291 miles of range, almost like the new ones in the market. The “tipping point price” for an eventual disruption is said to be $36,000, mostly dictated by the EV’s heart- the battery. The cost of EV battery packs (cells and electronics) would drop to $100/kWh by 2023 (83% less by 2013) unlocking more affordable, higher volume electric cars, but it will also require serious investment in grid infrastructure.
Thus far adoption and large scale charging infrastructure have been somewhat of a chicken-and-egg problem, but more investment is on its way.
A report released earlier this month shows the global EV charging infrastructure market by revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 30% from 2020 to 2026, mostly prompted by government investment. $174 billion of the Biden Administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill will go to development and adoption of electric vehicles.
In 2020, zero-emission vehicles became California’s number one export, according to the state’s budget summary, and in the same year the state announced it would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles from 2035. The state is continuing it’s investments in EVs with its $100 billion economic recovery package called “California Roars Back” which was introduced last week. $3.2 billion of that package is devoted to boosting California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEVs) goals.
Typically policy making follows the slow diffusion of new technology, but this time policymakers must act now before new technologies are deployed.
Receiving least benefits from urban planning and transportation policies, low-income communities suffer the most negative public health and environmental outcomes resulting from our over-reliance on vehicles. If access to this cleaner and cheaper technology was promoted unfairly, it will only perpetuate greater cycles of inequity for the groups already bearing the brunt of climate change impacts.
A great example is the California’s Clean Cars 4 All program that helps low-income rural residents upgrade their cars with EV’s. Spending most of their money on fuels and transportation, unlike urban and suburban residents, they stand to benefit from lower operating costs of EVs if the proper infrastructure was available.
But why are the existing solutions failing short to excite common masses to switch to Electric Vehicles?
This is the fourth post in a recurring series of ElectricFish insights around the transition to a modern electricity infrastructure. Stay tuned for our upcoming posts!