To those who do not follow the electric vehicle market, Paul Scott may be something of an anomaly, but to those who follow the industry he is the founding member of Plug in America and a Nissan Leaf salesman in Los Angeles. He is someone who has waxed lyrical about the electric vehicle market for many years now, and while others were still highly sceptical of the industry and the technology, he fully believed that the industry was moving forward.
At a recent EV summit at the Google campus in Mountain View, CA, he joined a growing group of people who believe that 2017 will be the tipping point for the electric vehicle market. So why do so many people believe 2017 will be the time when industry goes mass-market? Why is there growing confidence that the industry will crack the mass-market?
Tesla, Tesla, Tesla
It is no surprise that 2017 is the year that Tesla expects to release an affordable electric vehicle for around $40,000 with a 200 mile journey capacity per full battery charge. Elon Musk, the innovative and entrepreneurial leader of Tesla Motors, is perhaps the only person in the industry who can attract such attention and such confidence.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Elon Musk has been great for the EV market over the last few years - would Tesla be the same without Elon Musk at the helm?"
It would be wrong to suggest that Tesla is anywhere near releasing an affordable EV with a 200 mile journey capacity per full battery charge, but so confident is the man himself that he has on numerous occasions mentioned the year 2017. If he is correct, and it would take a brave person to argue with him, there is no doubt that 2017 and beyond could hold the Holy Grail for the electric vehicle industry. In many ways, with Elon Musk ultra-confident of releasing a vehicle in 2017, this could turn into something of a self fulfilling prophecy.
We have spoken at length about new electric vehicle technology and new battery systems which are beginning to come online but perhaps the greatest phenomenon of recent times is the impact which a relatively small number of electric vehicles have had on the industry. Prior to introduction of the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Volt, there were relatively few electric vehicles on the roads. However over the last couple of years we have seen a phenomenal increase in the number of plug-in vehicles which now total over 100,000 in the U.S. alone.
It is very easy to get carried along on the wave of optimism running through the electric vehicle industry but in many ways it is a relatively small number of vehicles which have changed the mindset of many motorists. This is only the tip of the iceberg, if you believe EV enthusiasts, with an array of new vehicles set to come online in the short to medium term. The industry which we see today is moving ahead very quickly, it will be very different in five years and 10 years and indeed 2017 could well be the tipping point which changes the mindset of millions of motorists around the world.
If 2017 is indeed the "year of the electric vehicle" the reality is that many people in the EV industry will have Elon Musk to thank.