The more we see of the high-end electric vehicle space the more we are liking it. Electric vehicles are the future of the automotive industry, there is no denying that.
No longer are EVs seen as slow, off-brand knock-offs of their gas gulping counterparts. When EVs are done right we not only see vehicles that boast top-of-the-line specs but ones that actually outpace traditional gas vehicles.
EVs are here to stay that's no longer a question, the real question that we now must ask is when will they go from the niche market to full-blown mainstream?
The answer lies in three basic things that need to happen.
300+ mile range with a Sub-$35k price
We know Tesla and GM are actively working on this, and Tesla’s vehicles already meet the range requirement but this one is a no brainer. In order for EVs to become the vehicle of the everyman, they need to actually be affordable for the everyman.
GM will actually take the first swing at cracking this market with the much anticipated Bolt EV. It doesn’t quite hit the 300+ mile range, falling about 100 miles short, but it's certainly a major step in the right direction. Most early reviews of the vehicle are solid and EV enthusiasts should be lining up everywhere to buy one, however no matter how good it is most will still want something that can go just a bit further on a single charge.
The good news here is it doesn’t seem like it’ll be long before this problem is officially solved, so get ready because we are just at the tip of the EV iceberg.
Level 2 at home and DC on the road
While many see the lack of plugs as an issue solved by public charging, in-home charging should be a heavy focus as well. In all honesty wouldn’t you rather just top off at home anyway? However, there will still be those times when you just need to go just a bit further down the road and DC fast chargers are required.
On the in-home side cities are the real pain point. Pulling in the amount of power required for high-speed charging simply causes too many problems in densely populated areas. Thats where solid level 2 charging is needed in long-term parking spaces like offices, condos, and apartments (an issue we solve cough, cough). Before you jump down our throats on this consider most city dwellers rarely drive further than 20 miles a day and simply need enough juice to last them the day.
The West Coast Electric Highway is already underway and is planned to have high speed charging stations up and down the coast from Vancouver all the way to San Diego. While this is a good and much needed start, we are still missing the other 47 states. Again, Tesla took the first swing at this problem investing millions in its advanced high speed charging network but in order for EVs to hit the mainstream, more high-speed stations will need to be built.
Bring back the SUV, and make it affordable
It’s true the Model X is a crossover type vehicle however with a price tag that is on par with some houses its not going to catch on with suburban soccer moms. The US has a major love affair with SUVs in general and while many will take a nice sporty EV coupe to start, eventually they’ll want something a bit more sizeable.
Right now we don’t have many solid leads to go on here. Tesla will certainly attempt an affordable SUV at some point (Model Y perhaps?), but the other automotive giants need to follow suit. Some have stated their intention to attack this market but none have shown anything more than a concept drawing at this point.
While this one isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it could be the final nail in the coffin for gasoline powered consumer vehicles.