Several states are working to make electric cars more accessible for the public. US President Joe Biden has pledged that half of all new vehicles sold in the US would be electric by 2030. This will be achieved by increasing the number of charging stations in urban areas.
Currently, there are about 12,000 existing electric car charging stations across the country according to the Department of Energy. Most of these are located in California with around 3,145 chargers while Washington State comes in second with 652.
The Future is Electric Cars
As the center of the automotive industry, Detroit has emerged as a leader in introducing electric vehicles to public transport. It’s estimated that at least 400 chargers for these vehicles will be installed in the US city alone.
One key player in the electric car industry is Tesla Motors. It aims to release an affordable long-range battery limited series this year. Many other companies are trying to catch up, releasing their own electric vehicles on top of their gas-powered ones.
The cost of running electric cars is cheaper compared to gas-guzzlers. According to the Department of Energy, it costs about 2 cents per mile to operate a vehicle powered by electricity. This may be cheaper compared to 5.9 cents per mile for a gas-powered car.
In the coming years, Detroit may become a leader in electric cars as it works with cities to create more charging station infrastructure. By then, Tesla Motors will release its long-range battery limited series that will revolutionize the electric car industry as we know it today.
Some schools across the United States are adding electric car chargers to their parking lots, but is this enough? The answer is no. Most electric cars would run on a full charge that can last for up to about 130 miles even if it were fully charged overnight. This makes charging them at night impractical considering most dormitories have limited parking slots and the fact that no one wants to wake up at three o’clock in the morning just to feed the car batteries.
This issue would be addressed by energy companies that are working with manufacturers to install more efficient charging stations. This is the only way electric cars can gain mass appeal among members of the public who don’t want to do without their vehicles overnight.
Semiconductor Shortages and Lack of Infrastructure
Semiconductor chips are crucial in terms of vehicle manufacturing because they power a variety of features such as emergency braking, entertainment systems, backup cameras, and so forth. Due to the pandemic and other factors like tariffs, there is a scarcity of microchips in the US, especially when it is also used in other industries like electronics and medical equipment.
When there is an extended period of time, it means that electric vehicles can’t be built and they can’t be sold, and then there will be more older vehicles staying on the road longer so it is a problem.
Meanwhile, Tesla, the company at the forefront of the electric car industry, continued to increase their production despite the shortages. This is due to their simpler supply chain with their facilities in California and in China. Since they have a facility located in China, it would be easier to source microchips for their cars. And according to CEO Elon Musk, they are also rewriting the firmware, innovating on their integration, and testing operations to maintain production. However, Tesla alone cannot transition the whole of the US from gas-powered to electric vehicles.
Another concern looming over the electric industry is the lack of electric charging stations that are available to the public. In the US, there are more than 100,000 public charging stations across the country.
Many EV owners are charging their own vehicles in their homes or at work, but it’s important to make EV charging more accessible, convenient, and affordable. Motorists wouldn’t settle for less and they would want to be able to travel long distances comfortably when they use electric vehicles for mobility.
However, the US does not have enough infrastructure built for these EVs. California is the state with the highest number of charging stations across the country, which is also the number of 39 states with the least amount of charging stations combined.
Building electric car charging stations may be more challenging than building new gas stations. It requires substantial government support and partnerships from businesses, utility companies, and local municipalities, among others.
The EV industry is a burgeoning industry brought about by innovation, technology, and environmental issues. While it promises to be a great solution for environmental concerns, there are several factors that need to be addressed so people will prefer to use these vehicles instead of the gas-powered ones.