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The Electric Vehicle Revolution: How is it doing?

Some say an electric vehicle revolution is underway. Others say it is headed south to the dumpster. Unfortunately, like just about every issue these days, the subject has become politicized. I will declare up front I am a registered independent and have been driving Teslas since 2015. I have gathered some data for a global and US snapshot and hope the following sheds some light on the EV industry.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly transforming the transportation landscape, driven by environmental concerns, technological advancements, and government incentives. In this blog post, I will explore the current state of EVs in the US and globally, examining market share, charging infrastructure, and future prospects.

Globally, EV sales are experiencing explosive growth. In 2022, over 10 million electric cars were sold, representing a tripling of market share from just 4% in 2020 to 14% in 2022 [1]. This momentum is expected to continue. Sales reached 14 million in 2023, accounting for 18% of the global car market [1]. This means nearly one in five new cars sold in 2023 were electric.

The US market is mirroring this trend, albeit at a slower pace. In 2023, EVs captured around 5% of new car sales in the US, with projections expecting this to reach 7-8% of the new car market by the end of 2024 [1]. While Tesla remains the dominant player in the US, competition is intensifying. Here’s a breakdown of the leading EV manufacturers by market share (as of Q1 2024):

Tesla: 62%
General Motors: 11%
Ford: 8%
Hyundai Motor Group (including Kia): 7%
Stellantis (including Jeep and Chrysler): 5%

Considering EVs vs. gas/diesel, the rise of EVs presents a significant challenge to the traditional dominance of gasoline and diesel vehicles. While internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles still hold the vast majority of the market share, the shift toward EVs is undeniable. Here’s a glimpse into the changing landscape:

New Car Sales: As I mentioned earlier, EVs are steadily capturing a larger portion of new car sales, both globally and in the US. This trend is likely to accelerate as battery costs decrease, driving price parity with ICE vehicles, and increasing consumer adoption. Environmental concerns by some and government incentives are influencing consumer preferences. Younger generations, particularly, show a stronger inclination toward EVs. I believe government policies promoting EV adoption, coupled with investments in charging infrastructure, will further tip the scales in favor of EVs. One of the main challenges for EVs is range anxiety and charging Infrastructure. Btw, see my blog post from August 2023, “Is Range Anxiety for Real?

The availability of charging stations is crucial for widespread EV adoption. While significant progress has been made, there’s still a gap to bridge. At least 80% of EV charging happens at home according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The data is not available for how many chargers are at workplaces and there is no breakdown of charger types.

The US currently has over 130,000 public charging stations, with a growing number of fast-charging options that can significantly reduce charging times [2]. However, this distribution is uneven, with urban areas having better coverage compared to rural areas. Let’s take a look at how we compare to Norway, a leader in electric vehicle adoption, which boasts a robust charging infrastructure compared to the US.

As of 2022, Norway had roughly 23,800 electric car charging stations catering to its population of approximately 5.4 million. In contrast, the US has over 130,000 public charging stations serving a population exceeding 332 million. While the US has a higher total number of charging stations, Norway fares much better when considering stations per capita. Norway has roughly 4.4 charging stations per 1,000 people and the US has only about 0.4 charging stations per 1,000 people. It’s important to consider the types of charging stations available. Norway has a good mix of standard and fast-charging stations, crucial for long-distance travel. The US may have a higher number of Level 2 chargers (slower charging), but fast-charging options might be less widespread. Distribution of charging stations is also a factor.  While the US has a higher total number, they might be concentrated in urban areas, leaving rural areas with limited options. Norway, with a smaller landmass and focus on EVs, might have a more even distribution.

A lot of planning is underway. Government initiatives and private investments are aiming to expand charging infrastructure significantly. The US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (a bipartisan bill) allocated billions of dollars for building a national network of EV charging stations. I will not go into the political landscape surrounding this. I could fill a blog post with misinformation on the subject of EVs.

The future of transportation seems increasingly electric. With advancements in battery technology, decreasing costs, expanding charging infrastructure, and supportive policies, EVs are poised to become mainstream. There are some key trends to watch.

Breakthroughs in battery technology are crucial for increasing range, reducing charging times, and lowering costs. This will play a major role in wider EV adoption. Bidirectional charging, the ability for EVs to feed power back into the grid, could revolutionize energy management and increase grid stability. The integration of autonomous driving technology with EVs could create new transportation models and revolutionize mobility.

In conclusion, the EV revolution is well underway, driven by a confluence of technological advancements, environmental concerns, and policy changes. Politicians who want to protect oil and gas want to shut down the EV growth. In my opinion, killing the incentives and placing a 100% tariff on imported EVs will only hurt Americans. While challenges remain, particularly regarding charging infrastructure, the future of transportation is likely to be electric. As the technology matures and infrastructure expands, I believe EVs are poised to become a dominant force on the roads, shaping a cleaner and more sustainable transportation landscape.

[1] International Energy Agency
[2] Alternative Fuels Data Center

Note: I use Gemini AI and other AI chatbots as my research assistants. AI can boost productivity for anyone who creates content. Sometimes I get incorrect data from AI, and when something looks suspicious, I dig deeper. Sometimes the data varies by sources where AI finds it. I take responsibility for my posts and if anyone spots an error, I will appreciate knowing it, and will correct it.