Last Updated: February 18th, 2023 | E-Mobility
It’ll come as no surprise that the tide has been turning in the direction of electric vehicles. Anyone who has paid any attention these last few years (especially the last six months) has seen this inexorable cultural shift happening worldwide. At the moment, about 40% of Americans are at least somewhat interested in purchasing an EV as their next vehicle. That may not seem world-changing, but for a country so heavily built on car ownership, it’s a huge shift. EV registration saw a 60% bump during Q1 2022, due in part to the precipitous rise in fuel costs. But what else is driving EV adoption?
EVs are cheaper to maintain. Given their lack of internal combustion engines, these vehicles simply have fewer moving parts that need checking, upkeep, and repair. While complaints that mechanics didn’t know their way around these new vehicles may have been true in the past, we’re well past the time when finding an EV repair person was impossible.
Additionally, home charging means that was once an inconvenience (not being able to fill up at a gas station) is now a benefit. Topping up or fully charging from the comfort of your own home has incredible advantages. Extra trips to put $10 in the tank are a thing of the past. In places where electricity prices vary daily, charging at night brings the added benefit of off-peak charging. This makes charging both more convenient and more affordable.
On average, EVs cost $10,000 more than ICE vehicles upfront. However, government tax credits and rebates have helped to lower the prices as the industry works on producing ever-cheaper electric vehicles. This approach has been incredibly effective, driving EV adoption around the world. In fact, it has worked so well in Europe that countries there have begun realizing the subsidies are no longer necessary to continue the transition. In Germany, the government has opted to let tax subsidies for EV purchases run out. This is due to a drop in the price of vehicles and a rise in consumer interest. The market no longer requires financial incentives to fuel the EV transition.
Not all reasons for EV adoption are about money. The developing environmental situation has, of course, also led to an increase in consumer electrification. New and seasoned EV drivers say they “feel good” about driving electric vehicles. They experience “less guilt” in terms of their transportation decisions. Fewer carbon emissions are better not only for the global environment but also for local environments. Air is cleaner locally: free of noise pollution and leading to better quality of life for everyone.
Vehicles have become more and more computerized over the last two decades. EVs in particular have been increasingly open about the transition.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) has grown, so has its integration with personal vehicles and charging stations. For example, chargers can send personalized messages about charging events to EV owners’ phones. This way, drivers know that a charging session has started or ended and can receive notifications about processed payments.
Arguably, one of the most exciting features of future EVs will be their integration with the electrical grid. While arguments persist that the grid cannot support EV charging, they’re not entirely true. In some ways, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology can help stabilize the grid by using EV batteries as large storage tanks that can be tapped into during peak energy need times. While just a few years ago, the idea seemed lightyears away, New York is already trialing a real-world test that integrates vehicles with the NYC grid. But even if an EV doesn’t talk directly to its city’s power reserves, it can still be an important backup power source in emergencies. During an unexpected blackout, EVs can power houses to run the essential household appliances up to 3 days (depending on usage of course).
Why is all of this important? When we know who’s buying EVs and why, we can get a better look at whom we’re serving as part of the EV charging infrastructure industry. These are smart, technologically forward vehicles for young, savvy consumers. They stand out as good investments to people who are wary of the ups and downs of gas prices. They are attractive to families who want a cleaner, healthier environment in which to raise their children. These are not only the people part of modern EV adoption. They’re also the people who are looking for EV chargers. These vehicles are no longer only owned by wealthy urbanites. Longer ranges and a wider range of models means they’re being purchased by a diverse group of consumers, and it’s our job to make sure they have places to charge up.
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