In spite of everything, electric vehicles continued gobbling up market share in 2017, reaching a worldwide total of 3.2 million electric vehicles. EVs now make up over 1% of the global vehicle market and it seems we are on track to hit 20 million EVs by 2020. This is all great news and it goes without saying that EVs are clearly here to stay.
However, there are somethings about EVs where a good solution doesn't exist.
This should come as no surprise, at the on-set of the automobile revolution many problems persisted. Access to gas stations was not universal, many roads were not automobile ready, the initial cost of ownership was too high and cars were seen as less reliable than horses. Over time all of these pain points were overcome but its important to take a look at what still needs to change.
High-Speed at Home
The single biggest reason people stated for not driving electric was access to charging and while this is still an issue for some, for the most part this problem has been solved. In fact, nearly all charging needs can be handled by the existing charging infrastructure. Daily driving is covered by home and/or work charging, long distance trips can be handled by Supercharging or DC fast networks, even emergency scenarios can be handled by existing public networks. Unfortunately, there are still those .01% times that need to be addressed.
Like those days where you come home for a few minutes and then need to get right back out on the road. Currently, daily driving needs can be satisfied by 2-3 hours of charging, but when you need to get right back out you may need a faster charge. Soon enough high-speed charging at home will be entirely possible and allow drivers to come home and top off quickly. While you certainly won't need to use it often, it will help with those one-off issues that are easily avoidable.
Bringing higher speeds home is no easy task though. Many homes simply don't have a additional power to supply low-speed Level 2, 6.2kW charging let alone higher speed 20kW. Getting around this problem is going to take some doing but its not impossible, and will certainly solve those .01% problems.
Getting to a relatively affordable $35k price for a long-range EV has been nothing short of stunning, but lets be honest we need to do a lot better. While $35k seems like peanuts compared to the $70k+ most long-range EVs used to cost its still not really an affordable vehicle in the grand scheme of things. Yes most middle-income families could probably afford one but everyone likes thing cheap, once we get under $20k the price debate will disappear its just going to take some time to get there.
It only took a paltry 5 years for EVs entry level price to drop to $35k and it won't take much longer for us to see prices drop into the mid-$20k level. In fact EVs are on track to achieve price parity with gasoline vehicles by 2022 which is only a mere 5 years from now. Again its not required for this to happen in order for EVs to succeed. Plenty of people have gladly slapped down $1000 just to reserve Tesla's Model 3. More recently, Nissan took over 13,000 reservations for its upcoming Leaf which starts at $30k. The demand is real but is still out of reach for some but as long as prices keep tumbling it won't be long until EVs take total control of the vehicle market.
The bottom line is that while electric vehicles still have a long way to go in order to truly take over the automotive market, its clear they have the staying power required to make it happen.