The 2019 New York International Auto Show is a showcase for Electric Vehicles (EVs). Auto Shows are generally a platform for manufacturers to demonstrate their visions for the future. The collective effort demonstrated at this year’s show is a good indication that EV technology is here to stay.
In the early 20th century, battery powered vehicles were jockeying for position alongside gas-powered platforms. With heavy batteries, a very limited range, and lack of infrastructure for charging, it was inevitable that gas-powered would ultimately win out.
Fast forward 100 years… Battery technology has evolved to allow for lighter weight, extended ranges, and infrastructure that better accommodates speedy recharging in many locations away from home.
For EV’s currently on the market, the average range is over 200 miles between charges, with Tesla recently testing vehicles that will go 400 miles and recharge to 70% in under an hour. All of this points to a more mainstream acceptance of EV’s.
The face-value practicality of EV’s are largely undisputed. In a perfect world, EV’s would win out over gas-powered vehicles based on cost savings and environmental impact. The biggest hindrance for EV buyers pertains to consumer charging anxiety. At present, gas stations are on every corner, and refueling takes less than 5 minutes. Charging stations are not as plentiful and a recharge can take several hours for some vehicles.
In order to help quell these anxieties, public policy makers are pushing to improve the infrastructure and support system for EV’s. It is fitting that the 2019 New York International Auto Show has become a platform for the future of EV, as New York is one of the most progressive and supportive states of the EV movement.
New York is already the first American city to impose “congestion pricing” for driving gas-powered vehicles in the busiest parts of the city. In addition, New York State has developed programs such as Evolve NY, which has allocated $250 million toward building charging stations across the state.
Major utilities such as ConEdison, the New York Power Authority, and the New York State Energy Research Development Authority have teamed up with this year’s New York Auto Show to showcase what the future holds for EV through some of these initiatives.
Almost every manufacturer now has an EV available for sale to the public, or in development for release in the near future. Recharging stations are starting to pop up with more regularity, and better battery technology allows for faster recharging and longer range.
All of these advancements make EVs more accessible for everyone. We are nearing a time when the logic and cost savings of owning and operating EV’s does not have to be accompanied with anxiety and fear about where and how long to charge them.