I rarely see EVs in city, when I do it's on the interstate and mostly out of state tags. I'd have nowhere to park it at home, I'd have to use public chargers. Not an option for urban areas where lower emission are most needed. I just don't see that many Teslas or other EVs on a daily basis.
Hi - I work in a part of the EV Industry. This does not make me right or wrong or anything, just noting that I'm exposed to the questions and information a lot.
My personal view, disagreed with by some in the industry, is that the market for the vehicles in the US has always been supply-constrained, not demand-constrained. The "not enough people want them" argument from the auto majors, some activists and others is, in my view, not valid, or at least it is difficult to gage demand in a market where, other than Tesla, until very recently, none of the major automakers offered any good long range battery electrics. Even now they are offering them only in moderate numbers. Ford sells pretty much all the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 LIghtnings that it can make, for example, and the only really good EV that GM makes for example is arguably the Cadillac Lyriq (which is available at a premium price and so far only in limited volumes). Tesla has basically been selling all the EVs that it can make, it appears, since its inception (though there may be a few spots in which it doesn't). Yes, they recently had to lower prices (from what were sky-high prices) but they still seem to be mostly in that zone of selling what they make (even without the formal expensive marketing of the incumbents).
To be fair, there are arguably some exceptions to this rule. I don't really know if it holds for the Tesla Model S for example. And certainly the urban lack-of-a-place-to-charge issue that you mention is an issue for many would-be-buyers. This has been and will continue to be an headwind for some demand.
I drive a decent 200+ mile BEV, though I have done it at great financial sacrifice that sometimes comes with being an early adopter. Now that the supply is becoming better, and there are more models, and prices are dropping for new vehicles, more people will be able to make that plunge without as much sacrifice. However, until the used prices start coming down, and until there is more known about how post-warranty owners will be treated (how much money to repair or replace batteries for example) I think that a large number of Americans will still have difficulty justifying going BEV, somewhat in-line with your comments.
addendum/edit: It's important to note that the move to BEV is being driven, in large part, by a life and death matter (the climate emergency). So, while consumer preferences (including simply determining which vehicles seem better in various ways) and bottleneck issues (such as urban charging) will play a role for each of us in our microeconomic decisions, in the end, overall, we're presently headed toward a full global transition to low-carbon or zero-carbon transportation. So, unless something changes, while each of us has some moderate autonomy in our decisions, the usual primacy of consumer preference isn't going to apply as it might in other more relaxed technology transitions.
I think some or all of your questions may be meant as rhetorical comments, but I'll put my answers:
you mention this: "....Industry released a figure of 800K sales. How large would the battery electric vehicle sales be be without government subsidies and fleet sales, many to the government? ..."
2021 global EV sales (including both BEV and PHEV) were on the order of 6m+ vehicles (nearly 10%) Source:
For 2022 I'm not sure what the numbers will be, but they will be higher. When you say 800k, you are probably referring to 2021 or 2022 US EV (BEV+PHEV) sales. I don't know the US numbers offhand, but I'm pretty sure both global and US numbers are increasing, with the rest of the world ahead of the world such as referenced in this quote:
"...For all of 2022, electric cars made up 5.8% of all new car sales in the US and 10% globally, according to the Wall Street Journal, up significantly from 2021...."
I'm not sure about global percentage growth increasing in 2022, but I think if we used consistent data sources we would see some growth their from 2021 to 2022. Note that auto industry sales and pricing numbers overall are a somewhat tough matter from a data standpoint during the pandemic/supply chain constraint years.
Many Americans and other global citizens cannot own EVs for several different reasons (lack of affordability, lack of access to charging, lack of supply of any good BEVs by dealers in some areas, lack of evs available in the segments they need, lack of sufficient hauling and range for some consumer use-cases), but things are changing rapidly, for reasons including the climate emergency and the fact that a really good BEV is simply a better vehicle (in the view of some consumers, in some ways) than good fossil-fueled vehicles. Now that good long-range BEVs are finally available to consumers in many parts of the US and elsewhere, (albeit at still high prices) the moderate sales numbers you reference are increasing. In some parts of the world they are further along and (as far as I know) are to the point of phasing out some of their subsidies. This has not (as far as I know) caused a phase-out of EV sales. I would have to research it further, but I think it could be said that once the sales get going in some areas, the subsidies can be sunsetted and the vehiles survive in the marketplace on their own merits. In other aspects, we should understand that some policies are not going away. The relatively high fossil fuel prices we see in some parts of the world, which provide one incentive to go with BEVs, are partly the result of local policies, and partly the result of industry dynamics, and are not likely fully to go away, though they may go through their downs and ups.
Toyota is great on non-pluggable hybrids, and on hybrids, but is just about the worst laggard among the established volume automakers on BEVs. They have just changed CEOs in part because the old CEO did not have a good handle on their need to move toward BEVs more quickly. They still do not have a full commitment, but have improved in their long-term vision. From a customer or consumer short-term standpoint however, Toyota is still among the worst. I am not sure they should be counted as knowing fully what they are doing, when they do try to make BEVs. Their one or two (counting Lexus) BEV models have I guess recently become a bit more competitive, and that's nice to see, but they have not established themselves yet as having any of the same leadership on BEVs that they have on HEVs and PHEVs. Their hydrogen efforts appear in my view to be more about serving the company's interests (maintaining high barriers to entry to the industry, and maybe maintaining higher employment at their company?) than about serving customer demand for BEVs. Unfortunately for Toyota, these days, customers have other places to go for BEVs.
The infrastructure investment is a daunting one for BEVs, but I think not as great as it would be to transition to H2V. Keep in mind that if we really do have to move away from 100+ years of gasoline and diesel production and distribution, that's going to require big money, and risk. Seen in that light, one can argue that the amounts of money under discussion for public and private charging are reasonable. But yes, if somehow some better zero-carbon solution emerges, then there is risk of wasting money.
For a number of reasons, Hydrogen transportation is not taken seriously (outside of a few niche applications) by most of the people I know looking at these matters. It is possible that ultimately some form of fuel cell powered transportation could emerge, or that drop-in non-ghg-polluting hydrocarbon fuel replacements could unexpectedly cause a change in direction for the overall global vehicular transportation industry, but it is unlikely.
@kmaz Of course those numbers are for the US. Much of these sales are fleet sales. Rental Companies, government agencies, ride share companies and USPS among others. Toyota already lead the market in plugin hybrid, quantity and quality. They make by far that best and most reliable hybrids, there's no doubt they'd do so in the battery EV market if they chose to, they just haven't chosen to. I think they may be waiting to introduce something better. I doubt very seriously if they want customers to look elsewhere. Word is they are working on Omega-1, near zero emission (supposedly) very small engine to use with a PHEV. It would certainly be more practical.
Here's a good recent article. The arguments against EVs that had a germ of truth to them once are now long irrelevant. For example EV owners now spend less time charging their cars than people do pumping gas! Like the switch from phone booths to cell phones, one day soon you'll look around and realize you hardly see any ICE vehicles anymore. [skeptoid.com]
This article disputes arguments that some people make. As far as cost of ownership and reliability much of those claims are false. By the time infrastructure catches up with EVs they may or may not begin to be obsolete. For now, they aren't practical for most Americans to own, at least in urban areas where reduced emissions are really needed.
My present car is a Dascia Lodgy (Romanian brand owned by Renault and assembled in Morocco.) It is a turbo diesel, and despite coming in an eight seater version (mine has 5 seats and a massive load area instead) I only use 4.8 litres of fuel per 100 kms. (That's 49 miles per gallon in US money) I paid €17.000 for it, brand new, two years ago. That's a tad under $19,000.
Almost certainly my next car will be the Lodgy's new incarnation, the Jogger, which comes in a plug-in hybrid version, for around €25,000.
I see EVs all the time, but I am in California where they are more popular, infrastructure is better and gas costs more than most other places in the country. I am still driving my 15 year old gasoline vehicle but am considering that my next one will be plug-in hybrid or full EV. It will NOT be a Tesla. I am still wary of all electric vehicles for several reasons. It takes longer to charge them, so what is a five minute stop to refuel a gasoline vehicle turns into a half-hour stop minimum. Everything on the vehicle, lights, radio, and especially the heater run off the battery and shorten your range, while the is less true with a gasoline engine. I have been dragging my feet on this. Well, that and any new vehicle costs so f-ing much money now.
Until battery technology can CHEAPLY solve the availability and refueling delay problems, I think PHEV vehicles are the answer. (Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
If batteries could become plentiful and cheap, then I can envisage a situation where you swimply swap-in your partially discharged battery for a full one, and pay the differential
My current vehicle is a 2004 Monte Carlo with 227,000 miles on it. I got this for my ex a long time ago and she decided against it when the battery went bad. She wanted my Malibu which was new at the time so we traded. LOL. Normal maintenance for my Monte Carlo along the way and the 3.4 engine gets 24 mpg. One thing I am not going to replace is my instrument cluster which has all but quit now. I do very little personal driving but this forces me to top off the gas tank 2 times a week and even with current prices that costs me between $16 and $20. There may be another 100,000 miles in this car yet, IDK. When time comes to replace it I will likely get another used gasoline powered car rather than buy a new one. I'm not seeing the advantage of EV right now in my community and the nearest charging station is 7 miles away at a Walmart Super Center.
My plan is my next car will be at least a hybrid, possibly an EV. How many years my 2015 Nissan Rogue keeps performing well will determine. With the strides the technology is taking I’m sure there will be many big improvements in both distance between charges and lowering of price. I am hoping to get at least another five years out of my Rogue.
If I had a place to charge my car at home, I might have taken advantage of the government subsidy. Still sucks for long trips.
@barjoe I rarely do long trips, and my hope is they will continue to extend the range. Or developer solar charging capabilities while you are driving.
I drive a 2018 Toyota Corolla, good gas mileage, I drive from facility to facility for work, lot's of driving for my job but I only use half a tank of gas per week.
I own an ICE vehicle, but it will almost certainly be the last. Infrastructure for EVs is trivial compared to gasoline, and the EV car/battery technology gets better all the time, so the transition is going to be rapid. Times are a changing.
By the time the infrastructure catches up, there could be a near zero emissions internal combustion engine vehicle. Times do keep changing. The technology already exists.
@barjoe Nope. An ICE vehicle is VASTLY more complicated to build and maintain than an EV. When both the vehicles and infrastructure are a huge improvement the switchover is inevitable. The ICE vehicle is the steam engine of our time, it's on the way out except for niche applications. Even EV aircraft are coming into service.
@barjoe Luckily, I live in Europe, where more and more people are buying Plug-in hybrids and power companies are being subsidised to install home charging stations, as well as public charging stations in multi-storey car-parks and street parking.
Quite a few people I know have solar panels, which charge up traditional batteries, and these then discharge into their car, giving them virtually free transport.
@barjoe EV car technology has essentially made ICE vehicles obsolete. Those 100 gas stations have a staggering cost in terms of both money and ecological damage compared to charging stations. Now that the cars are vastly simpler to build and maintain, it no longer makes any sense to depend on fossil fuel for vehicles. Times change.
All my vehicles are gas. A few months ago when I ordered a new car I was seriously considering a hybrid but could not find that option local (under 300 miles) for a Rav4. At the time we had ridiculous used car prices around here. Before ordering I looked at two used Rav4's that were a few yeas old with nearly 100k miles and the dealer wanted the same price as a brand new (although slightly lower XLE trim) Rav4.
Used car prices in my area are about $6,000 for an older gasoline powered model. Prices vary depending on what you are looking for.
@DenoPenno Brought my Rav4 into the local shop for the first of 4 fee 6-month service interval (tires/check levels for the first) last Saturday. I'd already changed the oil myself. The Rav4 is easy to work on. While waiting an hour at the dealership they had two potential customers looking at used cars. One of them test drove a 2020 xle Rav4 with 32,000 miles. It had an asking price of $29,900. That is about $2,000 less then the new 2022 xle I ordered.
Over a decade ago I picked up my used Honda Accord for a thousand dollars. In the last twelve years I've spent about $2,000 in parts and countless hours of work to keep it running. If I didn't do my own work I would have spent closer to 6,000 to keep it running.
I don't understand how people are willing to spend so much on a used car.
@NoMagicCookie You did very well. I know mechanics who do reasonable work for me although I still do some repair work myself. Used to do it all but I got too old.
@DenoPenno Best to do it yourself. Not sure how many years I have left where I can crawl around under the hood. You're lucky to know good mechanics. Years ago I got lazy and decided to just take it in as it was leaking fluids. The lazy (insert expletive) replaced the valve cover gasket with garbage and did not replace the valve cover spark plug well gaskets so two weeks later the car ran like crap as the spark plug wells were full of oil. If you want it done right - do it yourself. Then the water pump failed. That was not a fun job as after breaking hand tools I had to pick up air power tools. Years later the cheap water pump is again leaking. Not looking forward to replacing that again as it is 100 bolts to get to it, you have to support the engine as you have to remove engine mounts, etc.
Ironically I am renting an EV (Polestar 2) this weekend in Dallas. I love it.
But the infrastructure at this point is lacking and the prices are outlandish. It will be a while before they make sense for most people.
I would drive a hybrid but by the time ICE cars are mandated out I'll either be dead or too old to drive. It isn't happening soon.
There is a Tesla dealership a couple of miles from my house. I'd be afraid to travel with one, especially to Northern NH, where my brother lives, or upstate, where my son is. I've been thinking about getting a hybrid, though. I have to drive an SUV, in order to transport my various musical instruments.
My family has one of each. We have a Hyundai Elantra which gets decent gas mileage that my wife uses and that we use for trips. And, we also have a Hyundai Kona Electric that get's used in town and on the weekend. I bought it in 2019 with the plan that I would use it to commute since the cost to fuel it almost nil. The only issue is that since Covid, I work from home a significant part of the time.
Petrol or gasoline, whatever is the most accurate. In Europe we have cars that are fuelled by gas, methane if I'm not mistaken. The electric cars are amazing to drive but I'm not sure how ecological are they, there are different views on that.
I would go for a hybrid, but I’m hesitant on EVs. I have enough stress about the charge level on my phone.
EVs aren’t emission free. On a coal based grid they could be worse than gas. On natural gas grids they may have a better carbon and pollution footprint though deriving natural gas may have downsides.
EVs are acceleration beasts though. A friend of a friend has a high end Tesla and my friend told me about the g-force. Takes a while to wind up an internal combustion engine, but you can’t replace the sound.
BTW I recall chatter about you getting cataract surgery. Just got a extended depth IOL in one eye last week. Much better vision.
I currently have a hybrid, which serves me fine. I thought about getting an EV, as I live within walking distance of a public charging station, but I decided against it. I don't drive very often, but when I do, it can be 200 miles in a day, without much time in between stops to charge it. Acquaintances who have EVs charge their vehicles at home and drive far more often than I do. I will wait until more options are available before going from hybrid to EV, even then a hybrid might be my better choice.
Industry released a figure of 800K sales. How large would the battery electric vehicle sales be be without government subsidies and fleet sales, many to the government? Aren't they just expensive toys for rich suburbanites? I can't own one. Toyota, the largest auto maker, and producer of the best hybrid and plug-in hybrid are certainly capable of producing a full battery electric vehicle. They are working on alternatives. Why is that? Still making a hydrogen car sold only in California. Toyota is working on near zero emissions engines to be used in a hybrid. What would happen if after trillions in infrastructure, EV become somewhat obsolete. Could that happen?