Electric cars cannot be described as a recent innovation. The history of these types of cars dates back to 1830’s and they were a wide range of electric cars available in the United States and Europe during that period. It can be said that by 1900, the US market was evenly divided between steam-powered cars, gasoline cars and electric cars. It was a short-lived phenomenon and within 15 to 20 years, the demand for electric cars came down drastically. Many factors contributed towards this downfall and they include people’s quest for better horsepower, longer distance range, cost effectiveness and easy availability of gasoline as well. Today, we are witnessing the re-emergence of electric models and a good number of vehicle manufacturers have come up with refined versions of an electric car. Will electric cars be successful?
Tesla’s success inspires others
The recent trends indicate that the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has been growing in a rapid manner and the latest studies show that more than 740,000 people have been using these vehicles worldwide. Tesla’s success is a motivation for many others to emulate and it can be said without an iota of doubt that there is an increased motivation among vehicle manufacturers to design highly sophisticated EVs that meet the varying requirements of different people.
Battery costs account for 50% of the overall costs
According to latest International Energy Agency (IEA) reports, the major constraints for EV adoption are the battery costs and initial investment. Cheaper and longer-range batteries are critical to the success of electric cars in the years to come and these aspects account for 50% of the overall costs of most models. Anyhow, battery costs are coming down in a slow manner and per kilowatt hour price has fallen by half between 2018 and 2012. IEA predicts that the price is going to come down by half again within 2020.
Future competition challenges
Since technology is evolving in a fast manner, more and more advanced versions are going to be introduced in the immediate future and some companies have started focusing on this direction. EVs may have to face stiff competition from natural gas cars, fuel cells and advanced hybrids as well.
The role of the governments in various countries
Respective governments in various countries also have to play a big role in making electric cars highly endearing to people all around the world. The question that comes up in such a situation is that whether the governments will keep on subsidizing EVs to the same level they have done in the past. If the governments cut back the subsidies, these vehicles are going to become expensive before they turn cheaper and in such a situation, the best option available is to develop substantial cost reduction methods that put a check on the upfront purchase price.
This is a vital aspect in determining the success of electric cars. People are not going to buy these cars without charging points and establishing fast charging points accommodates the needs of electric car owners in the best possible manner.
Safeguarding the environment
Electrified transport is the best option available for a lower carbon future. IEA clearly suggests that three-quarters of new cars must be EVs by 2050 if we want to stay within the global warming limits.
Top electric car models
General Motors launched Chevrolet Volt in 2010 and it can be described as a vehicle with the highest satisfaction scores that they ever have built. Nissan Leaf is another popular model and there are much more like Renault Zoe Battery-Electric Subcompact, Tesla Model S, Volkswagen e-Golf, BMW i3, BMW i8, Audi A3 e-tron, Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Energi, Toyota RAV4 and Fiat 500e as well. All these leading models have managed to capture the attention of the people and many existing customers speak highly about the quality of these vehicles.
One must admit that vehicle electrification is a complex process and all relevant stakeholders including the governments, car manufacturers and consumers need to make a coordinated effort to address the future challenges. Although there is a long way to go and many hurdles to be tackled before electric cars become the most preferred method of getting around, the future seems promising and, more and more people have started purchasing these cars to address their transportation needs.