You could certainly be mistaken for believing that the electric vehicle industry has hit the mass market if you have been reading the worldwide media reports of late. In some ways it is frightening that everybody seems to be pushing in the same direction with regards to the EV industry and there seems to be a general belief that the mass market is just around the corner. So, are we really taking electric vehicles to our hearts?
There are many reasons to believe that the future of electric vehicles is bright, there are many reasons to believe the public has finally accepted this new mode of transport, and indeed even governments around the world are financially supportive. What can go wrong?
Been there, done it
If we look back to the history of the electric vehicle industry we will see an array of false dawns, industry collapses, and the very sudden disappearance of companies, cars and enthusiasts. It is difficult to see the industry today going anywhere but forward, although it is worth remembering this is a sector which has traditionally shot itself in the foot on numerous occasions!
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "There's no doubt that the name of Elon Musk is synonymous with Tesla but where do you think Tesla would be today if Elon Musk had not been at the helm?"
This is perhaps the first time we have seen governments, car manufacturers and consumers pulling in the same direction and seemingly accepting electric vehicles as the next major mode of transport. As we touched on above, in some ways it is frightening to see so much positivity for a sector which has historically attracted more than its fair share of negativity.
Roadside charging stations
Yesterday we covered the story of local authorities in New York City, looking at the possibility of converting existing payphones into electric vehicle charging stations. This is something which you would never have contemplated a decade ago and something which will literally bring the EV market to the masses and inject enormous confidence going forward.
It is easy to forget that an array of private companies are also introducing their own charging stations. Renault recently opened its charging network to the general public and even retailers such as IKEA have been installing charging stations at some of their U.S. stores. These are just two of an array of major companies looking to introduce their own charging networks across many countries around the world.
While some would suggest that battery capacity is still a major issue, while others believe progress is being made, the long-term issue could be replacing tax income which governments currently receive from the sale of oil. There is no doubt that at some stage we will see the introduction of specific electric vehicle taxes, indeed some U.S. states have already begun the process, but surely we should not be expected to pay the same level of taxes as that afforded to the sale of oil?
It will be interesting to see how governments juggle their financial liabilities, their local expenditure and whether indeed they are able to balance their accounts. There are challenges ahead for governments, companies, and consumers but the simple fact is that none of these challenges should in theory bring down the curtain on a major step forward by the electric vehicle sector.