Volkswagen has committed to 50 new electrified vehicles by 2025. The Chevrolet Bolt is the North American Car of the Year for 2017. The most widely-known EV manufacturer, Tesla, has been featured in the news for a few years consecutively because of their EV technology. And while there are amazing things happening in the electric vehicle realm, there’s an obvious problem: EV adoption in the United States.
In America, it’s a sobering statistic. Of 1,000 cars on the road today, just 15 are plug-in electric models, or 0.15 percent. Despite the overwhelming evidence that electric cars are more sustainable and better for the environment than fossil-fueled vehicles, the United States of America is extremely slow to adopt them as mainstream.
Comparatively, 5 percent of all vehicles on the road in Norway are electric cars. Norway’s new cars sales in 2017 were comprised of nearly 40 percent EVs. Even China, where sales numbers are difficult to obtain, show over 2 percent EV market share in 2017. The United States barely breaks one percent of the market share as plug-in models.
The technology is readily available – just ask Elon Musk. The question is this: why is the US trailing in EV sales on a global scale?
Low Fuel Prices
Prices at the pump have been low for approximately three years. In that same time frame, EV technology has come a long way. The Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 were released along with several other electrified models. The overlapping time frames have meant Americans’ desire to save on fuel costs aren’t as prevalent.
In other parts of the world, high fuel prices have driven EV sales. For example, a gallon of fuel in Italy on March 19th, 2018 is 7.24. In the United States on the same day, a gallon of gas was $2.84. The disparity in fuel prices makes car buyers take a long, hard look at alternatively-fueled vehicles like electric cars.
Government Influence Has Shifted
The current government has become disinterested in global-scale conservation efforts. Instead of embracing environmentally-conscious energy, there’s a renewed pursuit of ‘clean coal’ power.
The message directly conflicts with that of EVs. Unfortunately, while the rest of the world pursues different ways of fueling houses, cars, and power plants, the United States has taken a step back.
EV Incentives Are Waning
The US car buyer has expected to receive federal income tax incentives up to $7,500 when purchasing an electric vehicle. However, those tax credits will expire within a year once the imposed 200,000-vehicle cap has been hit. That number is fast approaching.
It’s a significant problem with such small-scale adoption of electric cars. Once the federal income tax incentive disappears, so can you expect EV sales to follow suit.
The Love of Combustion Engines
Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and many other carmakers have hung their hat on American car sales for decades. The sound of a throaty V8 is one that car lovers in the US aren’t keen on replacing with silent operation. American motorists have a deep-seated affinity for combustion engines – it’s a culture thing.
To make an indelible mark with electrified vehicles, there must be a renewed effort from the government and carmakers in the United States. Marketing campaigns, government policy, incentives, and cost-effective EV models that embrace the American Way will be necessary to boost EV sales effectively.