Are EVs Still Viewed by the General Public as Medicine?
Does the general public still view EVs as something good for you? Or are EVs looked upon like that nasty medicine that your parents “forced” upon you?
It has been my experience that the public views them as good, but it is also the opinion of many that it is being forced upon them like medicine often is. This mentality primarily is in response to the EV tax credits. In one respect this could be considered true. For most, tax subsidies are designed to either direct a certain outcome or help emerging markets, which really are the same.
I very much like our US tax credit model for EVs that have subsidies disappearing after each manufacturer reach 200,000 which is small enough to have very little tax implication overall. I am a bit bewildered that the same folks that are upset by such subsides are not at all upset by oil and gas subsidies that still exist and have a much greater tax implication.
But back to the medicine. At what point does the general public’s golf cart mentality end?
The Tesla Effect
It is hard to deny the positive effect Tesla motors has had on the general public’s perception of EVs. The public might declare it too expensive, but they definitely do not declare Tesla as medicine. I think when history looks back there will be no doubt to the chapter Tesla has written toward making EVs cool and right from the start. However, $65,000 – $100,000+ EVs cannot change the market alone. Who knows what impact the Gen III will have on both the “cool factor” while remaining somewhat affordable. Maybe EVs don’t have to do all the heavy lifting after all.
Sometimes I simply want to declare “Renewables rock! – The End”, but we all know it is not that simple. I found the recent article by Citigroup titled Energy Darwinism to be quite intriguing. Now, this 100 page study was written to energy investors, not to environmentalist. It spoke to the fact history has always chosen a primary energy source. At first it was wood, then coal, then oil, and now the golden age of natural gas. This article spoke to the potential decline of coal in China by 2020 which is encouraging, though like the US, the next few decades will be owned by gas.
But it spoke largely to the inevitability of energy storage. For our community here we know exactly what they are talking about. The inevitable future of electricity stored in a battery means a very bright future for EVs. Moreover, if or when electricity replaces natural gas, then EVs become the dominant solution.
At what point does it become common knowledge that the driving experience for EVs is not settling for less? One of the most powerful methods of advancing a product is word of mouth. Early EV adopters are doing their part in this long and patient process. There is no magic bullet that advances this overnight but certainly your voice slowly makes a difference. I have always been an EV enthusiast, though I get so wrapped up in explaining how the fueling at home is actually better than going to the pump, and how your regular service is practically not existent, comparing the EV torque cycle to an ICE and on and on, that sometimes I simply forget to tell them that it is fun! For those who truly enjoy the driving experience of any auto, you really need to spend some quality time behind the wheel of an EV. If you do, there will be no denying the experience. How many people have you introduced to EVs and what is your favorite story?