Although 2020 was a turbulent year for many industries across the globe, one sector that has been able to continue to grow is that of electric vehicles (EVs). Indeed, last year alone sales rose over 43% and even faster growth is anticipated with their cost continuing to fall.
While those of us who consider ourselves to be eco-friendly might already have or be considering going electric in the near future, below are five other reasons why EVs are becoming more popular.
- Their range is improving
It may seem hard to believe, but the battery technology that powers EVs has improved considerably in the last decade. While in 2010, an electric vehicle owner could expect to drive about 80 miles on a single charge, in 2020 most new EVs can go for 200+ miles without needing to stop for a power boost. Although this is much more than most people need for their daily commute if you were looking for something with more mileage, the longest range EV, the Tesla Model S Long Range, can travel over 400 miles on a single charge.
With the mileage range only set to increase as more users express interest in EVs, most EV models are likely to be able to go the same distance as a full tank of petrol in the near future.
- Charging times are decreasing
Charging your car overnight may not seem like much of a hassle, especially if you already do this with other devices like your smartphone. However, should you need to top up the power during a journey, waiting around for at least 30 minutes but up to a couple of hours to get moving again is one of the main disadvantages of EVs. Indeed, an electric car with a 60kWh battery typically takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point.
However, batteries capable of fully charging an EV in five minutes have now been produced in a factory for the first time, marking a significant step towards electric cars becoming as fast to power up your car as filling up a petrol or diesel vehicle. Using the available charging infrastructure we have today, such high speed charging is not possible as the chargers are not powerful enough, nonetheless it is hoped that by 2025 mass roll-out of this technology will have been achieved.
- System updates are upgrading safety on-the-go
One of the most interesting things about owning an EV is the ability to receive over-the-air updates to the vehicle’s system. In practice, a vehicle receives these updates in the same way as your smartphone – through a wireless data pathway. These updates can upgrade the vehicle’s functionality, such as break modulation control and vehicle suspension control, on-the-go. A famous example is Tesla using one of these updates to revise their braking algorithm in 2018 after a negative media review.
If passenger safety can be constantly improved upon without the need to purchase a new car or via a mechanic, electric vehicles will have the ability to become safer overtime than their petrol/diesel equivalents.
- Governments are heavily encouraging their use
Government incentives for EVs have now largely been established around the world to support their adoption. In most cases, the government will provide subsidies or tax exemptions for those who purchase an EV.
In addition, some governments are also mandating more EVs be manufactured to help them reach their climate targets. Paris plans to phase out internal-combustion vehicles in the city by 2030 to help cut air pollution, the UK has announced a ban on new fossil fuel car sales from 2030, and Norway aims to become the world’s first country to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2025. You can see a list of fossil fuel-based vehicle bans across the world here.
- Public charging infrastructure is getting smarter
With the number of people purchasing an EV increasing, it is perhaps not surprising that the number of public charging stations is also rising. However, the way public bodies are using existing infrastructure to support EV charging is also improving. For example, in London over 1000 street lights have been converted into EV chargers and the UK’s first all-electric car charging forecourt, which uses 100% renewable energy to charge up to 36 cars at a time, opened to customers in 2021.
With a vast network of charging infrastructure available, cheaper, more powerful, batteries, and a greater range of mileage per EV, there may be no need for government mandates or bans to be enforced as the lower cost for EVs will swing the market away from petrol/diesel alternatives naturally.
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