The electric vehicle (EV) market is expanding globally with strong legislative support—and the United States is no exception. However, the question remains: is the US ready for this transition to EVs? While there are many reasons to believe that the country is making strides in the right direction, several challenges still need to be addressed.
EVs Need More Infrastructure
One of the main challenges facing the widespread adoption of EVs in the US is infrastructure, especially considering federal goals of increasing U.S. EV production to 50 percent of vehicles sold by 2030. Unfortunately, with current production at 7 percent, there aren’t enough charging stations available to meet that small demand.
Recently, The Hill pointed to Norway for an eye to our future. In an article published in May of 2022, they said, “Due to its aggressive credits and tax structure, EVs now constitute 75 percent of Norway’s auto sales. To serve that many drivers, the country installed 313 charging stations for every 100,000 people. The U.S., by comparison, has just 30. To reach Norway’s availability, we’ll need over 1 million more.
Any EV owner will tell you that the lack of charging infrastructure can make owning an EV inconvenient, as drivers may need to plan their trips around charging stations and wait for their vehicles to charge. However, many companies and governments are taking steps to address this issue, such as Tesla installing a network of Superchargers across the US. In addition, some states are investing in developing public charging infrastructure, but currently, the push is toward corporate investment.
And it’s not just public charging that’s an issue. Home charging isn’t always easy. For example, in September of 2022, California told EV owners not to charge their cars during warmer weather because of a strain on the electrical grid. And it’s important to note some reports say that EV buyers in California make up 18 percent of new car sales. So, it doesn’t take much to understand the infrastructure challenge is real.
EVs Purchase Costs are Considerable
Another challenge is cost. Although the upfront cost of EVs has come down in recent years, they are still more expensive than traditional gas-powered vehicles. This can make it difficult for many people to justify their purchase if they are not confident that the technology will be widely available and affordable.
To overcome this challenge, federal and state governments offer EV incentives, such as tax credits and rebates. Additionally, many automakers are developing affordable EVs to help make the technology more accessible to a broader range of consumers. And OEMs like Tesla and Ford have recently lowered prices to compete, even though hurting their profit margins. However, the market is now facing the reality that rising electricity prices and stabilized gas prices make EVs more expensive to fuel than their gas-powered counterparts.
The EV Future is Looking Brighter
Despite these challenges, there are several reasons to believe the US is ready to transition to EVs. Firstly, consumer interest in EVs is growing. According to a recent survey, over half of US consumers are considering buying an EV as their next vehicle. This suggests that people are becoming more aware of the benefits of EVs, such as lower operating costs, reduced environmental impact, and improved driving performance.
Furthermore, the US automotive industry is adapting to meet the growing demand for EVs. Many major automakers are investing in developing new EVs, and some are abandoning traditional gas-powered vehicles altogether. This shift in focus signifies that the US may be preparing for the transition to EVs.
Finally, the US government is playing a legislative role in promoting EV adoption. The Federal government’s goal of having 500,000 charging stations in the country by 2030 is pushing manufacturers to make EVs. And it has proposed several measures to support the growth of the EV market, such as tax credits and funding for research and development with the new EV Tax Credits.
So, while challenges still need to be addressed, the US is slowly moving toward the transition to EVs. With growing consumer interest, a shift in focus by the automotive industry, and government support, the future of EVs looks better than it did years ago. If the proper steps are taken to overcome the remaining challenges, the US may be positioned to fully embrace what’s ahead.