Are electric vehicles really the future?

It sounds good, almost like a better world. No more depending on foreign countries for gasoline, no more pollution caused by cars, and so on. Plus the benefits for the ev driver: Electric motors are quiet, accelerate stronger and require less maintenance then ‘normal’ cars. And can you imagine all the money you save on gas? But will people actually buy electric vehicles in the near future or do we all stick to our old habits?

As electric vehicle charging stations pop up everywhere in the world, Park Rigde states that it is not ready to even talk about installing EV charging stations to their community. In a committee meeting in October one resident told the aldermen that they should consider licensing charging stations and installing them in municipal parking lots. In a meeting in the past week the aldermen agreed to postpone the discussion on this topic. Alderman Daniel J. Knight says that electric vehicle charging stations might be the future, but it’s not the immediate future. Therefor they will not implement these charging stations yet. Alderman Sal Raspani adds that they were talking about licensing for the installation, but they are not even sure they’re going to implement them and therefor they were “putting the cart before the horse”.  Also, officials say that businesses and other private entities in Park Ridge have not yet asked the city about charging stations. It is simply not urgent to discuss and Daniel J. Knight says he’s not keen on spending the city’s money to install stations.

Last week at the Paris Motor Show Tesla and Renault announced that the electric vehicle sales have been disappointing. Volkwagen announced that instead of putting lots of energy in electric vehicles, they’re going to focus on plug-in hybrids; Cars that use battery power for short distances and switch to gasoline or diesel for longer distances. They have not totally scrapped electric vehicles from their list Mr. Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen, said, but Mr. Winterkorn and other executives do expect that plug-in hybrids are “the more realistic way to reduce automobile emissions”. Since Volkswagen is a leading company in Europe, their decision will sure have an effect on the industry. Jerôme Stoll, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Renault, said it’s always disappointing when you set your goals on something but you don’t meet them. He said that Renault was the market leader in electric vehicles, but that he’s not happy with the size of the market.

According to the Huffington Post, “Electric vehicles strengthen the US competitiveness”. In 2007 President Bush of the United States stated that America was “addicted to oil”. This is changing and everywhere I go on the internet,  I find articles similar to “This city has installed electric vehicle charging stations”. Now it’s up to the residents to actually buy an electric vehicle. According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, over 1270 electric vehicles are sold daily in the US. Worldwide they expect the total amount of electric vehicles to grow from 700 million to over 2 billion in the year 2050. These expectations can only become reality if consumers want to buy electric vehicles. In a previous blog entry I already quoted a Pike Reseach release that stated that manufacturers need to do something to attract new buyers in the future.