As territories around the world work to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and cut their carbon emissions, electric vehicles have become increasingly crucial to the green energy transition. Research by Katherine Mckenzie, a faculty member at the University of Hawaii Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), shows that electric vehicles have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by a whopping 93% in 30 years.
However, consumers will have to ditch their internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and adopt electric vehicles in mass for such a prediction to come true. This will undoubtedly require a shift in mindset for millions of Americans as a large percentage of the country does not see electric vehicles as the next stage of evolution in vehicular travel.
According to an analysis by Bloomberg, the United States has reached a crucial tipping point in terms of EV adoption; electrified vehicles now make up 5% of vehicle sales. Bloomberg believes that this threshold indicates the start of a mass adoption period when the population quickly changes its technology preferences, resulting in mass adoption of new technologies. The U.S. is now the third territory in the world to achieve 5% EV sales after Europe and China.
Traditionally, the growth and adoption of new technologies such as electricity, mobile phones and the internet have followed an S-shaped curve. The early adopter phase is usually characterized by low sales, followed by an explosion in sales as the technology finally goes mainstream. For electric vehicles, 5% of sales seems to represent the point where demand from early adopters is surpassed by mainstream demand.
If the American market follows the trends set by the more than a dozen countries that achieved 5% EV sales first, the country may be able to achieve 25% EV sales by the end of 2025, beating major forecasts by around one to two years. And since the EV industry faces the same challenges in virtually all territories, including poor charging infrastructure, limited supply and high upfront costs, it makes sense that the U.S. would follow the same patterns of electric vehicle adoption.
Although Bloomberg’s analysis only covered battery electric vehicles (BEVs), some European countries have been quite partial to plug-in hybrids. Since these electrified vehicles have a smaller battery pack as well as a fossil-fuel-powered engine, they act as a familiar transition from gasoline cars to EVs.
Furthermore, the presence of a gasoline engine reduces range anxiety in drivers who aren’t very confident with their region’s charging infrastructure. Counting plug-in hybrids, there are now more than 20 million electrified cars across the world. As manufacturers such as Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) ramp up their production, the number of EVs on the road is likely to shoot up over the coming years.
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