There is no doubt that over the last couple of months we have seen a significant improvement in the trust factor between the EV industry and the wider general public. There have been some significant announcements on the technology front, we have seen the introduction of more and more electric charging stations, and battery technology seems to moving to a different level. Something seems to have clicked in the minds of the general motoring public but what is it?
In years gone by there have been some sceptical comments regarding the motivation of the EV manufacturers, were they pushed into producing these vehicles, was it by choice, was their heart really in it? The disaster which was the General Motors EV1 certainly put the industry back at least a decade and it has taken many years to get anywhere near the same trust factor that was around back in the 1990s.
The motivation today is financial, environmental, and consumer led because the vast majority of car manufacturers believe that EV technology does have a part to play in the future. It is difficult to say at this moment in time how large a role the industry will play but there is no doubt it is here to stay this time.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "The average driver covers around 70 miles a day through the week which is less than the full charge available on a Nissan Leaf 2013 - about 129 miles on a full charge. How many miles do you drive each day?"
Financially we have never seen as much investment in the industry from both private and public enterprises. We have governments around the world pouring taxpayers money into the industry, we have private companies building their own legacies in the industry and we also have a wider general public more willing than ever to pay slightly more for their electric vehicle. There have been financial incentives across-the-board, financed predominantly by taxpayer’s money, and while these have assisted in the short term, they will not be around forever.
At some point industry will need to stand on its own 2 feet but at this moment in time taxpayer money is certainly assisting in the take-up of EVs around the world. This is normal practice in any new industry and especially in an industry and technology so advanced as EVs.
If there is one factor which could make or break the electric car industry it is reliability, that motorists can get from A to B and refuel along the way. This has been an issue but the introduction of record numbers of electric car charging points and rumours of new technology, which could possibly take journey capacity beyond 1000 miles per full charge, are starting to breed confidence in the industry. In reality there has never been any doubt about the reliability of the underlying electric vehicle technology but it was perhaps the recharging network that prompted most concern amongst the general public.
When you also take into account the fact that the vast majority of electric vehicles are indistinguishable at first glance when compared to their gasoline/diesel counterparts, this is also a plus point.
At this moment in time the electric vehicle industry is riding something of a wave of optimism, hope and expectation. We have been here before, the industry has shot itself in the foot in the past but for some reason this does seem very different. Fingers crossed!