The Electric Car that we get to enjoy today, hails from the new age of energy conservation and emission reduction. Electric Cars are, however, nothing new. In fact, nearly a century ago, the first cars to be ever made were electric cars. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, nearly one-third of all the cars on the road were electric cars on US roads. 1575 of the 4192 cars on the road were electric cars.
Major US automakers were involved with electric cars in the early 1900s as electric car sales were leading in the market. Porsche’s first car, which is now a major international auto manufacturer, was in fact an electric car. Even Henry Ford, partnered with Thomas Edison himself to explore the potential of vehicles powered by electricity.
The First Fall of the Electric Car
As the 1900s progressed, electric cars started fizzling out as the internal combustion engine began taking off. The discovery of crude oil and how it could be harnessed to produce cheaper gasoline completely changed the market for the rest of the century. As the times progressed, roads all around the world, especially in the US developed into massive intra-city networks. Gasoline-powered vehicles could more easily travel farther and thus stumped the limited capabilities of the electric car.
The 1990s: A New Era Of The Electric Car?
Nearly a century later, the state of California is fighting for zero-emissions vehicle policies. Those policies ushered in the second wave of electric cars as the likes of General Motors were producing electric cars such as the EV1 for the general market.
The second wave of the electric car in the 1990s was, however, extremely short-lived as, by the end of the decade, auto-makers and oil companies had completely resisted the policies for sustainable energy sources and lobbied to weaken the policies altogether. The state of electric cars remained indefinite.
2003-Present: A New Era of the Electric Car Ushered by Tesla
The hiatus of the Electric was short-lived as in 2003, Tesla Motors was launched. The first electric car by Tesla, however, wasn’t launched until 2008. This was the Tesla Roadster.
Tesla has ushered in a new age of sustainable vehicles, backed by a market that is more interested in the environment and with the support of lawmakers as well who look to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy. This trend of the general population’s interest in electric cars only seems to be growing and it seems other companies such as BMW, General Motors, and Ford, and following suit to the trend.
The Future of the Electric Car
The availability of electric cars to the general population has only helped grow this trend as, by the next few decades, countries such as the U.K., France, India, and China have pledged to stop sales of gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles as they look to sustainable living.
Experts suggest that by 2040, Electric Vehicles will account for 32% of global auto sales.
In 2017 alone, the electric car fleet in the world increased by a whopping 54% to about 3.1 million. Experts suggest that by 2030, 125 million electric cars will be on the road if the growth continues Government policies in the U.S are as of now, resistant to the shift to Electric Cars, preventing policies that make Electric cars attractive to the average driver which would encourage investment and nudge growth to a more accessible rate. If government policies weren’t as stringent, experts suggest 220 million electric cars on the road by 2030.
Europe and China will be the biggest markets for Electric Vehicles, as changing trends and existing policies predict. Changing subsidies and credits will help Electric Cars account for more than a quarter of the motor market by the next two decades. Meanwhile, in Europe, strict emission laws and high fuel taxes will boost the electric vehicle to almost a quarter of the market.
The United States as of yet stands divided on the issue. While places like California have seen massive growth in interest in electric cars, the current trend suggests slow growth in the rest of the country, especially under the Trump administration that taxes fuel companies the lowest and with their plans to scale back on emission policies.
China, on the other hand, is becoming a mammoth in the electric car industry with a whopping 72% growth in 2017 alone. Over a million electric cars are being driven on the roads of China, this is excluding the electric buses and two-wheeled vehicles, for which the country holds 99% of the world’s stock.
Countries such as Germany and Japan as well posted massive growth in electric vehicles in 2017, almost double what they had in 2016. Places such as the Netherlands, France, and China favor pure battery electric vehicles while Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom favor and have the highest share in plug-in hybrid cars.
Leading Corporations are following the growing trend of the demand and auto-manufacturer behemoths like Toyota, General Electric and BMW look to flood the market with electric vehicles. Toyota wants to sell 1 million electric cars by 2030, and BMW looks to launch 12 new Electric Vehicles in the next 8 years. Companies such as BMW and Toyota also look to work on the development of solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.
The world is adapting to electric vehicles as a way of life and nothing seems to be stopping electric vehicles from taking over the roads. Vehicles powered by gasoline don’t have much time or resources left in fact, as global reserves are depleting at a faster rate. The growth of electric cars is no longer a ‘want’, they’re a necessity if we’re to progress further. Depleting resources and polluting the environment is not a sustainable way of living anymore and the world is quickly looking to save what we have.
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