Increasing Electric Car Sales
A number of recent studies show that interest in owning an electric car is definitely on the rise. One study in particular by the British RAC has found that nine percent of European drivers plan to switch over to an electric car for their next vehicle. The annual report on motoring surveyed 3,000 drivers and revealed a significant increase in the desire to own an electric car over previous years. Similarly, a large portion of respondents said they would like to see more government incentives that encourage driving electric, as well as set a target for creating more public charging stations.
“With 2030 now clearly set as the date for the end of the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans, momentum behind getting more of us into EVs is building,” said RAC data insight spokesperson Rod Dennis. “And it’s clear that an increasing proportion of drivers are responding, with nearly one in 10 now planning to opt for a pure electric vehicle next time they change their car.”
A new study by Ipsos indicates that interest in electric cars in the United States and China has risen during the coronavirus pandemic. Analysts attribute that to greater familiarity with electric cars. Globally, consumers considering an electric car sited environmental considerations as well as convenience and reduced operating costs as factors in their decision. Interestingly, access to carpool lanes for solo-occupant electric vehicles topped the list of reasons that buyers purchased EVs, followed by an interest in the EVs’ styling and tech features.
Ipsos recommended that automakers focus marketing on increasing the familiarity with electric cars, specifically by addressing barriers to wider adoption such as range, affordability, charging infrastructure and battery life. Volkswagen has said that the pandemic has made the switch to EVs “more inevitable,” while General Motors claims to have fast-tracked its EV program. At the same time, charging habits have changed, with more EV owners sticking to the security and ease of home charging even as public charging networks expand.
America's Electric Future
The big news in America is that President Joe Biden plans to replace the government’s enormous fleet of cars and trucks with electric vehicles that have been assembled in the U.S. as part of his “Buy America” executive order. The President plans to create a million new jobs domestically in the U.S. auto industry alone. Tesla, General Motors and Nissan Motor currently produces EVs domestically, with Ford Motor and others announcing plans to follow suit.
“The industry is about to unleash an avalanche of new product, and a lot of it built in North America,” says Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. “Just about every U.S. plant is going to have a hybrid or electric product.”
President Biden’s goals for the new fleet of government vehicles appear to be specific to all-electric cars and trucks that produce “net zero emissions.” As of 2019, the U.S. government had 645,000 vehicles that were driven 4.5 billion miles and consumed 375 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel, according to the General Services Administration (GSA). About 35% of those vehicles were operated by the U.S. Postal Service. The President has said that the fleet changeover will assist in his administration’s plan to create one million new jobs in the U.S. auto industry.
Biden announced plans for stricter use of American-made parts in government-purchased vehicles. Current standards require a vehicle’s parts be at least 50% from the U.S. In a recent statement, General Motors said that it is “encouraged by President Biden’s commitment to supporting American manufacturing and looks forward to reviewing the details of the order.”
Ford, which last year launched a “Built for America” ad campaign, said it “believes that investing in America, its people, goods and services, must be a national mission.”
The Biden Administration has also promised to build 500,000 EV charging stations across the country to expedite our drive towards a greener all-electric car future. BloombergNEF forecasts that the President’s Charging Plan could sell 25 million electric vehicles here at home.