One Million EVs

Milestone for sale of the American electric car

Edison Electric Institute (Washington, D.C.) hosted a summit November 30 to recognize a historic time for the electric vehicle.

Not long after Europe reached the threshold of one million electric cars on the road, the United States followed suit. That mark was reached some time in late October, and fulfilled many an adjusted projection for an industry that blossomed exponentially in the 2010s.

Reaching one million in 2018 seemed ambitious back in 2011, when three of the market’s full-scale models were first released. Now, projections anticipate that number to double within the next two years alone.

And yet, those at the Edison summit wisely balanced congratulations with concern. The industry’s rapid growth spawned some requirements, much earlier than anticipated. Most glaring of these is a need to ramp up EV infrastructure. Charging stations are too few, not to mention lacking versatility, and must be a top priority, panelists at the Edison summit said. This came into discussion with equal weight as the fight against climate change, so EV professionals are now angling a service side as much as their environmental nucleus. There is also a growing concern about the ability to produce and procure cobalt, the accelerant behind most electric cars.

Auto manufacturers are generally following suit at this point, shedding the resistance we saw for years as EVs eased their way in as an alternative item. Now, the spotlight is on electrics—as evidenced by General Motors recent job cuts, which the company says will be coupled with a renewed focus on EV production; assertions by President Trump, which predictably threaten to cut tax benefits; and the forward scope of American EV veterans like Chevy, Nissan, and Toyota, all of whom plan to continue rolling out new models. Bloomberg estimates that by 2020 there will be 120 electric car models available with every major auto manufacturer in the market.

market-share-snapshot

Sidecar to the American manufacturers: the obvious standout Tesla, who despite the perceived arrogance of its owner has undeniably taken the industry to a new level, as well as luxury cars in both Europe and the U.S. BMW holds a solid chunk of the American market and plans to increase its EV offerings for the second chapter. Porsche will ramp up the production of its first electric model after seeing an encouraging increase in pre-orders and high demand in the first year of the Taycan.

The Porsche vehicle is expected to have a range of over 250 miles, but the most impressive feature is arguably the 800-volt system. It is double the voltage of most EVs and should allow a charge rate of up to 350 kW, which could charge the car up to 80% in only 15 minutes.

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