The Gotham Gal and I own five EVs and have been driving electric-powered cars since 2014. I don’t drive gas-powered cars and haven’t for a few years now. We have purchased two Chevy Bolts, two Tesla Model Ss, and one Rivian truck.
I love the instant acceleration you get from an EV, I enjoy driving mostly with just one foot due to the fact that EVs accelerate and brake using the accelerator pedal, I like that I can charge my car every night at home (using solar panels on our roofs) and don’t have to go to the gas station anymore, and I like that the maintenance costs and hassle are much lower with an EV. There is certainly an environmental benefit from driving EVs, but in my view, EVs are also better cars (and trucks).
But EVs remain expensive and “risky” for most folks and only 9% of global car sales are electric and that percentage is smaller in the US (more like 5%).
So how do we change that?
With gas prices sky-high, policymakers are looking to do something about the cost of driving. They are talking about short-term solutions like gas tax holidays that will do little to reduce the price of gas. I believe they should spend that money on longer-term solutions that will accelerate the conversion to EVs and reduce our reliance on the fossil fuel industry.
So what would those things be? Here is a list:
1/ A government-backed loan program (like student loans) that makes buying an EV less expensive to the average car and truck purchaser.
2/ An incentive program for merchants (think Starbucks or 7-Eleven, but it could be any merchant) to install and offer fast-charging stations.
3/ Subsidies to build battery manufacturing facilities (80% of EV battery manufacturing is in China).
4/ Policies to produce more cathode materials (which are roughly half of the cost of an EV battery).
Most automobile manufacturers are making EVs now. They understand EVs are the future. But there remain real impediments to consumer adoption of EVs. We need policies that work to reduce those impediments and speed the adoption of EVs and we need them now.