Two parallel trends are dramatically reshaping America’s transportation future: the increased production of electric vehicles and the growing enthusiasm for these clean technologies by America’s drivers. In short: the opportunity for the widespread deployment of clean electric vehicles has never been greater.
Researchers project that there will be more than one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 – and 27 million by 2020. Simply put: electric vehicles are coming, and they’ll play a crucial role as we transition to cleaner transportation technologies.
As the production reality of electric vehicles increases approaches so, too, has consumers’ enthusiasm for advanced technology vehicles. Growing concern about the effects of climate change and the risks posted by our reliance on imported oil have led many drivers to become excited about looking at sustainable alternatives to petroleum fuels.
Electric vehicles, such as those being produced by major auto manufacturers as well as startups, are an attractive solution for consumers looking to play their part in reducing emissions, decreasing dependence on foreign oil and helping to increase jobs in the manufacturing sector in the U.S.
Despite the tremendous promise of electric vehicles, there remain a number of challenges to the widespread deployment and use of electric vehicles – and to the tremendous benefits they offer.
Consumers are rightly concerned about the limited range of first generation EVs and lack of widespread charging stations. They also wonder about the potential for increased home electricity costs as well as the slow speeds of existing charging stations. And many consumers in urban areas, where EV’s are likely to be most applicable, don’t own garages, posing a huge barrier to adoption.
Municipalities are concerned about uncertainties, like the potential for grid overload especially if most of the vehicles are plugging in at the same time in the evening or overnight. They also wonder how to provide enough charging locations to meet demand in cities where most people don’t have personal garages. Lastly, they are concerned about funding for infrastructure needed for EV’s.While grants and other incentives have been ample recently, cities can’t count on their long term availability. They need to invest and partner with a viable business model that does not depend on subsidies or other incentives.
Luckily, there’s 350Green and our Network of charging stations.