Electric vehicles (EVs) make up a small but steadily expanding segment of the automotive market. Ten years ago we may have dismissed the Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf, but drivers are becoming more receptive to making the change. According to a report by AAA, roughly 20% of drivers surveyed said the next car they buy will likely be an electric vehicle. AAA’s director of automotive engineering, Greg Bannon, says: “We do believe the future is electric.” Thinking about going electric? Here are some things to consider:
Battery Capacity Is Rising
Outside of an innate fear of change, many drivers are skeptical of EVs and their mileage range. Gas stations are nearly everywhere. Charging stations are not (yet). EV batteries have improved dramatically since their introduction, especially in the last few years. In 2011, the average EV battery had a range of 80 miles per charge. Today, EVs average more than 200 miles on a single charge. Some Tesla models exceed 330 miles on a single charge.
Batteries Are Getting Cheaper
When it comes to electric vehicles, a concern among drivers is the cost of EV batteries and moreover the car itself. The last few years have shown a trend disputing that notion as prices are dropping sharply. In 2015, batteries made up 57% of the cost for a new EV. As of today (April 16, 2019) that number is down to one third. Experts say that trend is to continue as more and more electric vehicles enter the market.
Longer Lasting Batteries
Not only are batteries cheaper and stronger, they are lasting longer than ever before as well. When the Tesla Model S (the strongest EV in the market today) was tested it was revealed that its batteries were still in good condition with 168,000 miles on them. The battery still had 91% of its capacity intact. This isn’t the case across all EV manufacturers, but Tesla is laying the groundwork and setting the standard for the industry.
Electric Cars Are Cheaper to Fix
A traditional combustion engine has dozens of moving parts. An EV motor only has once. Traditional automobiles also require regular monitoring and replacing of things like oil, coolant and transmission fluid.
Fuel Is More Expensive Than Electricity
Gas prices are volatile relative to electricity. In an article for Forbes, Constance Douris writes that, “the U.S. average per gallon of gasoline is $2.50 while it would cost $1.10 per eGallon to charge an electric car.” Thanks to the Department of Energy’s eGallon tool, you can find out how much it costs to fuel an electric vehicle in your state.
The automotive world is shifting toward electric vehicles. Soon, it is projected that almost half of the world will own a hybrid or an electric vehicle. The internal combustion engine cars will become more expensive and harder to maintain and the market demand will decline further. In addition to economic sentiment, governments around the world are helping the shift to electric with policies that incentivize lowering consumption of petroleum products.
As with anything, electric vehicles will have to ride the demand curve to mainstream use and popularity. We have seen EVs graduate from the innovators stage to the early adopters to where they are now— at the doorstep of early majority of users. Where will you land on the curve?