What is Fueling the Electric Vehicle Industry?

via USPS

Electric vehicles have become a hot topic in the last few years. As consumers look for ways to save money, unpredictable gas prices are a common pain point for those who have long commutes or have to drive frequently. Electric vehicles are becoming a popular alternative to the standard combustion-engine vehicle.

Ten years ago, there were very few electric vehicles on the road. But in 2022, that trend has shifted dramatically. Sales in 2021 of these types of automobiles reached 6.6 million globally, a figure which doubled the amount from the previous year. In 2022, the numbers have remained strong. This demonstrates the growing demand for electric vehicles around the world, particularly in Europe, China, and the United States.

So what is fueling, (pun intended), this consistent growth for the industry? It is a combination of factors.

Environmentally-Conscious Consumers

Although the biggest culprits of environmental damage are large corporations, individual consumers still want to do their part to protect and preserve the natural world. Combustible engines emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide which at a high volume can be dangerous for the environment. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, run on electricity rather than gas, making them emit far less harmful substances into the air. With more consumers considering their impact on the environment, the result is a greater demand for vehicles that leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Massive Investment Shifts by Auto Manufacturers

It is not just consumers that are affecting the shift toward more electric vehicles on the road. Many manufacturers are seeing the signs of changing demand and reacting by investing more capital into the electric vehicle sector. While a total shift, if it ever happens, could take decades, some automobile giants are setting ambitious deadlines for complete electric vehicle production. Mercedez-Benz plans to shift to 100% EV production by 2025. Others may not be far behind. 

EV Engine Improvements

The first electric vehicles to see major production numbers were hybrids. Their electric capabilities were far more limited than the electric engines being produced today. Improving technologies, such as improved stator windings for the motor, along with more informed research are paving the way for far more efficient electric motors that can handle the demands of drivers everywhere. Distances that could only be realistically covered by a combustible engine are now perfectly manageable with improved electric vehicle engines. 

There is still far to go in maximizing the production process of electric vehicles. From the mining of lithium for batteries to the driving distance per battery charge, these automobiles can continue to improve and become even more cost-effective in the future.  

Shifting Fuel Prices

Especially in the last year, gas prices rose to an astronomical level. Historically, these prices can rise and fall due to many circumstances, from demand shifts to recessions and even foreign policy. Whatever the main cause of a price hike is, consumers dread the days when the cost per gallon jumps up several dollars for an extended period. Electric vehicles rely on rechargeable batteries to power the engines, and the math shows that the cost of electricity per mile is much lower than the cost of gas per mile. 

More Charging Stations

One of the biggest hesitations for many consumers when deciding whether or not to invest in electric vehicles is access to charging stations. Since it is still a relatively new technology, these critical infrastructural components are not readily available to drivers in the same way that gas stations are. Though it will take years for charging stations to reach similar levels of extension, they are continuously spreading. Major thoroughfares like rest stops and large parking lots are starting to add charging stations, as well as businesses. Perhaps the best time to plug in an EV is while at the office, so the more businesses include this option, the more consumers can rely on this type of automobile. 

Where Will This Industry Be in Ten Years?

While it may be impossible to predict outcomes a decade from now, there are plenty of indicators that point to the wider adoption of electric vehicles in the future. Consumers want to leave a smaller carbon footprint, and combustible engines contribute to greenhouse gases at a substantial rate. More manufacturers are investing in the production of this type of automobile, resulting in more efficient engines and better products. Fuel prices will always cause consternation among drivers, especially when costs rise, and the availability of more charging stations will make electric vehicles a reliable option for driving long distances. 

Whatever angle you take, electric vehicles are likely to grow in number. Recent trends are certainly pointing toward this conclusion, though the rate of increase may be unpredictable, especially with major shifts like a more remote workforce happening currently. Either way, this mode of transportation is becoming more reliable with each passing year, and innovation always leads to progress.