Using an EV can greatly reduce harmful emissions.
The hurdle of EV range anxiety
Range anxiety? It’s the fear of running out of power on a journey and not being able to find a charging point. This fear is the major stumbling block to greater EV adoption. It has more to do with psychology than the actual range or charging infrastructure. The average EV range increases by around 15% each model year and the infrastructure for physical charging points is constantly expanding.
Range anxiety helps explain why the demand for electric vehicles is still very much driven by a ‘push’ from government and manufacturer incentives, rather than ‘pull’ from customer demand. We’re still waiting to see the mass groundswell of adoption that the industry needs.
Charging up for an EV revolution
The global pandemic in 2020 cut traffic flow dramatically and, with it, emissions. The benefits and importance of a sustainable and cleaner way of moving have become even more evident. EVs are a major contribution to the solution.
EV development, however, relies heavily on government incentives. While the pandemic has crippled EV growth for some countries, others have had a significant increase. For example, EV growth has declined at the same rate as combustion engine vehicles in the USA. But there has been a significantly larger 42% decline of EV growth in China due to the additional impact of subsidy reductions. Europe on the other hand, has had significant growth as a result of emission reduction targets and grants, despite the pandemic. For example, the UK announced a ban on petrol and diesel vehicles on the roads by 2035. More immediately, some countries introduced low emission zones that will heavily penalize vehicle manufacturers who break carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emission limits.
This means that despite setbacks, we can still increase EV sales – which bodes well for the future.
The reduced emissions we’ve seen in 2020 are good, yet temporary according to studies. This is why we need to push for a faster transition towards electric vehicles.
A closer look at EV range
95% of day-to-day drives are well within an EV’s range – a short commute, trip to the shop, or seeing friends or relatives. For most people, journeys beyond an EV’s range are only made once or twice a year – on annual holiday or seasonal trips around the new year.
But widespread charging stations are still essential. Ubiquitous access helps EV adoption. The Netherlands, one of the best countries in Europe to drive an EV, has recognized this. It's a relatively small country with many destinations nearby, yet the government is stimulating the infrastructure network and installing numerous EV charging points. It also helps EV owners directly by installing charging points close to an EV owners’ home, upon request, if there’s not one already nearby.