Transportation can have a large impact on a person’s daily life, and it’s natural for people to feel comfortable making significant changes once the behavior has become accepted. Even though EVs are widely known, more than two-thirds of Americans (65%) have never driven one or know someone who does not.
Nevertheless, the adoption of EVs is accelerating quickly due to factors such as the rising price of petrol, greater ranges brought on by improved battery performance, lower battery costs, and federal and state subsidies. In general, younger Americans are more environmentally sensitive; 42% of Gen Z and 32% of Baby Boomers say they’re at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing an electric car.
Although these are encouraging trends, the EV industry still confronts numerous serious obstacles. Following is a list of ten issues that must be overcome as the industry grows:
1. Purchase Price:
The cost of purchasing an EV is the largest obstacle facing the sector. Because of advancements in battery technology, electric vehicle production costs are higher than those of gasoline-powered automobiles. To give a minimal range for most owners, EV batteries need to hold a significant amount of charge, which makes them expensive to produce from raw materials.
Due to the quantity of readily available gas in the United States, gas-powered hybrid car are still affordable even after accounting for battery prices. EVs may be less expensive to operate than their gasoline-powered counterparts, but they must first be acquired. At the moment, there aren’t many models available with sticker prices under $30,000 (without government tax incentives). Older versions with significantly lower battery ranges are typically the ones sold for half or less of the MSRP of a new vehicle.
As EV sales increase overall and EV owners reach the trade-in stage, the situation will get better.
2. Range Anxiety:
Range anxiety is a real condition. Americans are accustomed to getting in their cars, driving wherever they want to go (and wherever far), and not having to worry about where to find a petrol station to fill up when they need to. However, people are concerned about the distance an EV can drive before they need to find a charging station and then wait through a protracted charging procedure. This issue is especially important in the winter when below-freezing temperatures can result in a significant reduction in an EV’s typical battery range.
In mild weather, the majority of EVs sold can go 200–300 miles on a single charge. It is more than enough when you take into account that Americans travel an average of 36 miles per day (or 13,500 miles annually). However, an EV owner might want a charge every 3–4 hours for those long days on the road, weekend getaways, driving vacations, or merely chilly weather.
The time it takes to charge their EV for the ensuing 3–4 hours of driving can take 4-6 hours or longer because just under 80% of public charging stations are Level 2.
3. Finding a Technician is a Challenge:
Most automobile owners discover that choosing a qualified independent maintenance and repair company can often be much less expensive than having their vehicle serviced by a dealer. There aren’t many certified independent shops and very few skilled EV repair professionals because the EV market is still rather tiny. The majority of EV owners rely on their local EV dealer for repair because working on an EV beyond its tires, brakes, light bulbs, and audio components can be unsafe for an untrained technician. Fortunately, EVs require less upkeep than cars powered by petrol. However, there is currently no competition to help keep costs down if an expensive component needs to be replaced (such as the battery pack, which typically costs $5,000 and above depending on the EV model).
4. Infrastructure Feeding:
Range anxiety is a problem that is spreading across the country as a result of the lack of charging stations. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed by the federal government in 2021 and offers $7.5 billion in new financing for EV charging stations and related infrastructure, is an effort to assist address the problem.
The Act will subsidize the installation of 500,000 EV chargers along 75,000 kilometers of chosen national corridors, helping both sparsely populated and rural areas. According to the design, there should be a charging station every 50 miles along the road and no farther than a mile from it. In all 50 states, projects that depend at least partially on this funding have already received approval.
There are around 56,000 EV charging stations in the US, 52,000 of which are accessible to the general public. With the help of EV charging location apps like PlugShare, finding them is
becoming simpler. The 148,000 EVSEs (individual charging ports) provided by these stations are divided into 2% Level 1 ports, 80% Level 2 ports, and 8% fast-charging DC units.
Even with all the public charging stations that are accessible, the majority of EV charging still happens at home, which is problematic for those who live in multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) or who must park on the street.
According to studies, whether an electric vehicle (EV) driver chooses to move into or stay in a specific residential property depends on the availability of on-site charging. 3% of new MUD parking spaces in California, the state with the highest EV uptake, must already be “make-ready” for EV charging.
5. Charge-Up Times:
For drivers who struggle to adapt to the Electric Vehicles lifestyle, which sometimes requires a slower pace of life, charging electric cars can be a challenge. EV chargers typically come in three levels:
Level 1: Works with a typical 120V socket and can charge the majority of cars overnight. Extra-large batteries may require up to twenty hours to fully charge. The majority of household chargers are Level 1.
Level 2: SAEJ1772 connectors and 240V plugs are used. The majority of public charging stations are Level 2 or Level 2 and Level 3 together.
Level 3: For the fastest charge possible, 480V direct current (DC) fast chargers are used.
Level 2 chargers can finish a full charge in as little as 3–4 hours or as long as 10–12 hours, depending on the size of the battery. Although it may seem like a long time, a DC fast-charging station can charge an EV battery to 80% in 30 to 60 minutes.
These times are anticipated to drastically decrease as battery technology advances. Porsche boasts that its Taycan model can reach a range of up to 62 miles in just 5 minutes and has already achieved DC charging speeds of 23 minutes for 88%. With just 15 minutes of DC charging, Tesla claims that the Model S can reach 130 miles of range or around 35% of its overall range.
6. Size of the Grid:
As a result of the conversion to EVs, millions of people will depend on the electric grid in new ways; as a result, grid capacity must be enhanced to avoid strain. Experts disagree on how much extra power we’ll need, but the U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that EVs will be primarily responsible for a 38 percent rise in electricity demand by 2050.
If every state switched to plug-in EVs, the Energy Institute at the University of Texas calculated the required electrical consumption. They discovered that state-wide energy consumption would rise by a range of 17% in Wyoming to 55% in Maine. Most states had reductions of 20 to 30 percent. Only a few states have adequate additional capacity in their existing infrastructure to handle escalating demand.
7. Pricing Structures for Charges:
In contrast to fuel, which is always charged per gallon, EV charging has a range of price categories. This difference may result in unequal pricing and inflated charging prices as a result of customer irritation and negative experiences, which may impede adoption.
The cost per kWh for residential charging is uniformly set by utility regulators. Public charging stations may charge per minute, by the session, or with tiers dependent on the rate of charging. Since it resembles their familiar per-gallon pricing structure the most, EV drivers frequently choose the per-kWh pricing structure. Some states combine charging-speed-based categories with per-kWh pricing schemes.
1. Why is the charging infrastructure so important for electric vehicles?
The role of charging stations in fostering economic growth has grown. As a result of installing and maintaining charging stations, there are more job opportunities and less need for fossil fuels, energy, and money. Utilization also lessens carbon emissions, which is good for the environment.
2. What is range anxiety, and how does it affect EV adoption?
Range anxiety is the dread that an electric vehicle owner has that the battery won’t have enough charge to get to their destination or that there won’t be a charging station available “on the road.”
3. Why are electric vehicles more expensive than traditional cars?
An electric car is more expensive to purchase than a normal one, mostly because of the battery. It might alone result in a few thousand euro difference. The raw materials used in the battery as well as the pricey procedures involved in battery production are significant causes of this.
4. What are the major challenges in battery technology for EVs?
The primary issues with nickel-metal hydride batteries are their expensive price, high self-discharge, high heat generation, and the requirement to manage hydrogen loss.
5. How does the supply chain affect the EV industry?
The rising demand for EVs is bringing down pollutants and bringing down the price of petrol. However, it is also making the industry’s current supply chain issues worse, such as the scarcity of components and raw materials, high production prices, shipping delays, and ineffective production methods.
6. How can governments support the EV industry?
The federal government has announced several promotional initiatives during the past ten years to help the adoption of electric cars (EVs) across the nation, including tax incentives for EV owners, the building of public EV charging infrastructure, and more.