According to the latest vehicle sales figures, electric vehicles appear to be approaching the tipping point to mass adoption by the motoring public in the United States. Records indicate that while overall automobile sales slumped by 18%, EVs registered an impressive 60% jump in sales during the first quarter of this year.
This sharp sales increase, taking electric vehicles’ market share to just 4.6%, may pale when compared to countries such as Norway where approximately 86% of all the vehicles registered in March alone were fully electric. However, it is significant because it is the biggest sales surge recorded in the country for the last decade during which electric vehicles have been on the market. This change could indicate a turning point, potentially opening the floodgates to massive EV sales in the U.S.
One of the main reasons behind this jump is the increasing array of vehicle models to choose from. In the years gone by, people were largely restricted to buying Tesla models, but now the pool has widened a great deal, and many more startups as well as legacy automakers are debuting their own electric versions.
However, these growing sales numbers have raised some concerns among sections of the public and auto analysts. Many wonder whether the existing charging infrastructure is sufficient to meet the needs of the EVs on the road and those being delivered to new owners. Interestingly, it isn’t clear whether charging infrastructure should first be established or more people need to buy EVs to create commercially viable demand for charging stations. It is a bit of a chicken-and-egg dilemma.
The current supply chain challenges could also put a damper on the public’s appetite for electric vehicles. Several manufacturers have already announced price hikes in light of the surging prices of vital raw materials, and many other EV makers have lowered their production targets as it becomes increasingly clear that essential materials, such as semiconductors and battery metals, will not be available as quickly as the manufacturers would wish in a bid to ramp up production.
For now, electric vehicle sector actors such as QuantumScape Corp. can take comfort in the growing number of people buying EVs as opposed to replacing their current cars with internal combustion engine (ICE) versions. Hopefully, the hiccups slowing electric vehicle manufacturing will be fixed and production will intensify so that prices also reduce. This will be the ultimate selling point when EVs cost no more than what it costs to buy an ICE vehicle.
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