The CEO of electric vehicle company Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) R.J Scaringe isn’t particularly pleased with consumers who are buying new internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE). During a recent conversation with Heatmap’s Robinson Meyer, Rivian’s top executive likened purchasing a new ICE car to “building a horse barn in 1910.”
Scaringe suggested that such consumers were turning a blind eye to the incredible progress being made in the nascent electric vehicle space and will likely regret their purchase a few years down the line. Electric vehicles are poised to replace ICE cars as the top means of road transportation over the next few decades as the world steadily cuts its reliance on fossil fuels.
However, even though electric vehicle sales have been on the rise in recent months, new EV purchases still make a very small percentage of overall vehicle sales. Factors such as high EV prices and poor charging infrastructure have undoubtedly contributed to the slow adoption of EVs among ordinary drivers. Despite that, Scaringe still notes that buying a new ICE car in this age is “weird” and that diesel and petrol-powered cars are increasingly becoming a relic of the past. If policymakers in many countries had their way, electric vehicles would be replacing ICE cars much faster than they currently are.
Lawmakers in several nations have provided drivers with EV subsidies and incentives to lower their financial commitment and invested billions of dollars into developing charging infrastructure. Furthermore, battery and EV makers are working to develop more efficient and energy-dense battery technologies to boost EV range and alleviate the critical issue of range anxiety.
Despite these barriers to EV adoption, a confluence of factors has resulted in a substantial increase in EV sales over the past few months. Large stockpiles of unsold EVs coupled with increased competition among electric vehicle firms have partly contributed to a discount war among major EV makers that has allowed consumers to buy electric cars at lower prices.
Scaringe predicts that the pendulum will swing toward electric vehicles as the decade grows to a close. At the moment, the Rivian exec says, customers have little choice compared to the ICE vehicle market, especially customers with limited budgets. This will likely change as the industry matures and establishes, with new automakers unveiling new product lines to cater to a wide spectrum of consumers.
Multiple polls have found that plenty of drivers are interested in transitioning to EVs, but those drivers worry about the price and limited infrastructure. Once the industry addresses these issues, electric vehicle adoption among consumers will most likely explode.
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