Op-Ed: How to Phase out ICE Vehicles Sales Within a Decade

6 months ago by Stefan Scholz 65

How to make ’em all plug-ins (InsideEVs/Warren M)

Modern plug-in vehicles have been around since the end of 2011, but even after six years of sales they are only accounting for around 1% of new vehicle sales in the US and most countries of western Europe.

VW Has Rounded Up All Its Non-Compliant Diesels In The United States (via YouTube/Teslarati)

EV advocates had been hoping for much faster adoption, but there are several factors that limit the availability and adoption of Plug-ins. (For the purpose of this article I am using the terms EV and Plug-in synonymously, encompassing both pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids).

Resistance from established auto manufacturers and/or their dealers, lack of effective government incentives, insufficient charging infrastructure, high cost and limited capacity of batteries, limited battery production capacity, and the ignorance of the general population about electric cars, to name just a few.

Despite these factors sales have risen steadily and most experts agree that EVs are here to stay and are in fact the future of transportation. With the advance of better and cheaper batteries sales will continue to grow and they will gradually begin to outsell and eventually displace internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. That point can’t come fast enough for EV advocates, but most researchers put that point several decades away.

Some countries (Norway, The Netherlands, Germany and even India) have started discussing how to phase out ICE vehicles but none of them have developed concrete plans on how to do that. Norway is clearly the farthest along the way and its example shows that EV adoption can be greatly accelerated with the right combination of government policies. In this article, I am proposing a simple yet effective way to phase out sales of new ICE vehicles almost completely within less than a decade.

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales (as expressed by market share) – through March 2017

The example of numerous states and countries (Georgia, Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands) has shown that as long as the current price-premium of EVs over ICE vehicles persists, purchase incentives will be necessary to spur EV adoption.  Also, established car makers are reluctant to commit to producing EVs in large numbers given the uncertainty of the marketplace and battery makers are equally cautious in establishing the necessary and hugely expensive battery factories.  Thanks to Tesla, and their partner Panasonic, that is gradually changing, but not fast enough.

In order to facilitate the phase-out of ICE vehicles huge investments in battery production will be necessary, but that will only happen when there is a large and guaranteed market for EVs. In the near term this will only be possible through consistent and aggressive government policies providing both incentives for EVs and disincentives for ICE vehicles. The trick is to do this in a way that is politically feasible, gives auto and battery makers time to adapt, and does not cause hardships for large parts of the population, especially lower income families. Here is my suggestion for a solution.

Governmental forces making plug-ins more attractive financially than ICE vehicles has translated to a ~35%+ market share for PEVs so far in 2017 (through March)

A state or country determined to phase out ICE vehicles could establish a special registration fee for new ICE vehicles being registered. I am proposing a registration fee because it should be less controversial and easier to implement than a tax or other surcharge.

This would provide funds to pay for existing EV purchase incentives, increase them, and/or add charging infrastructure.

If done correctly it would be budget neutral and sustainable for as long as needed. Also, as this would only apply to new vehicle purchases it would only affect the wealthier segments of the population who can afford to purchase new vehicles. Even for them this would not create a hardship, as the incentives would presumably lower the price of EVs to be equal or lower than a comparable ICE vehicle.

This surcharge would increase at a predictable rate to provide funds to subsidize rapidly increasing EV sales and further discourage ICE sales. It would also provide a predictable and guaranteed market for auto and battery manufacturers that will encourage them to increase availability and production of new models. Potential purchasers would know that ICE vehicles will get more expensive over time and that purchasing one would be to invest in an outdated technology that will become less desirable and valuable down the road. Like buying a dumb phone in the age of smart phones.

Fees to drive a petrol vehicle? Ford CEO Mark Fields would likely not be a fan

For a very aggressive timeline I favor an exponential increase of the registration fee (doubling every year) from a very low level. This would give both consumers and manufacturers time to adapt and would still eliminate most ICE sales in less than a decade. For example, a $100 initial fee, doubling every year, wouldn’t be more than a nuisance for the first few years, but would grow to $12,800 by year eight, effectively making ICE vehicles unattractive for all but the ultra-rich.

This principle can be adapted in a variety of ways and allows for an infinite number of permutations. Early on allowances may have to be made for vehicle types where no or limited EV alternatives exist (pickups, vans). Once used EVs become plentiful the same procedure could be used to accelerate the phase-out of existing ICE vehicles.

We have a choice, either we can wait for battery prices to gradually come down and for EVs to naturally gain market acceptance in the coming decades, or we can take aggressive measures to take control of the process and usher in a better future for all of us as soon as possible. All that is needed is for one state or country to take the lead to provide a blueprint for others to follow. Who will be the first?

Editor’s Note:  Our thanks to Stefan for providing this piece to InsideEVs.  Also look for some contributions to the site in the future as well.

65 responses to "Op-Ed: How to Phase out ICE Vehicles Sales Within a Decade"

  1. Jim Thompson says:

    A great idea except that it is far from painless. As a matter of fact it is destructive. First, the registration fee might be relatively painless to the wealthier segment of society but only to the detriment of the less wealthy section as that money, which would have been used for smaller purchases, is now rerouted to government and kills the sales that would have otherwise flowed from it. Exponentially increasing the fee would destroy small businesses at the margin and their employees that would have received those funds absent the government tax. In an advanced economy everything is interlinked. Pushing on one thing is likely to topple something else unexpectedly. The bottom line is that these cars are not economical at present any anything that attempts to force them to appear economical must, mathematically, result in a diminution of the economy elsewhere. By the way, I own a BEV.

    1. Kosh says:

      Right. Not gonna for this case. I still have my 18 year old Dodge Ram truck. It’s ALREADY costing me $350/year to register (Ca. “weight tax”), more than our newer vehicles. And unless somebody wants to come up with a viable E-truck for my occasional use, I need to keep it here for the SMALL amount of driving that I do in it.

      Unless you think I can get 4×8 sheets of plywood in that Model 3 trunk?

      (I don’t think renting a truck on the spur of moment would work well for me).

      1. Mark.ca says:

        Bad example. For my 5 to 10 yearly trips to Home Depot to get building materials and such i was planning on keeping around my RX300. I will pay $600/year in liability coverege insurance plus about 100 in registration. Is it worth it? Of course not! HD will rent you a truck for $25 for 1.5 hours….i need to take 28 trips to the store to break even. Not evan going to talk about maintenance on an older car….

      2. HVACman says:

        If Tesla puts even 2,000 lb towing capacity into the Model 3, you can replace most of what a PU will do for you with a Model 3 plus a $700 5×8 utility trailer from Tractor Supply.

        I use just such a trailer towed behind my wife’s Subaru Outback. I can fill it with 4×8’s, get a yard of dirt or a 1/2 yard of gravel at the supply yard, pick up a whole load of cabinets, etc. PU’s are history for me.

        I don’t know if Tesla will put any towing capacity into the 3, but I’m pretty sure they’ll put plenty into the Y when it comes out. That is a core requirement for CUV’s/SUV’s.

      3. Nix says:

        I’m sure you can get 4X8 sheets of plywood into the back of a Tesla.

        You just have to cut them up first…

        *laugh*

        1. paul Smith says:

          If you cut them up, you’re not puting 4x8s into the trunk.

      4. Mikael says:

        Why not rent or buy a trailer? I don’t know anyone who owns a pick-up truck but plenty of people who do a lot of work on their homes.

  2. Klaus says:

    How is this viable? In other words, how do you get legislator buy-in to vote for this in the US given various industry influences on legislators and the current political climate?

    1. Stefan Scholz says:

      I realize that this would be controversial and difficult to implement in the US, at least on a federal level. However, there might be a progressive state that might consider implementing something like this.

      This is essentially similar to how Norway is planning to phase out ICE vehicles and other countries in Europe could potentially do this.

  3. ffbj says:

    While I am supportive of evs the cure, put forth here, is worse than the poison, certainly not legal, and could never be nor would ever be implemented.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      This would be totally fair. You want ICE you will pay for the pollution upfront and that money will go to someone buying ev. It really a logical solution, the problem is it will never happen in US considering who our politicians are employed by.

    2. SJC says:

      I don’t think a decade is realistic. Five times more PHEVs using the batteries of one EV would do more good for the air quality and reduce imported oil.

      1. Well, putting 20 kWh Batteries in a PHEV/EREV would make the math work, when compared to a a single Tesla 100D, as to supplying the Batteries for 5 PHEV/EREV vehicles.

        That might even get Pickups to 30-40 miles AER, and cars up to 60-70 miles AER. That would be useful, for sure, but the Charging Infrastructure at work is where we should have been investing already, along with himes and Freeway fast charging.

        In 1 year, it will be more obvious that EV’s are here to stay, but workplace charging is progressing slower than general public charging still!

      2. Mint says:

        I used to think the same way, but once Tesla gets everything right in its gigafactory and figures out how to make more, battery supply won’t be an issue. Natural resources probably won’t be a problem for batteries either, even if cobalt and lithium will need some increase in mining.

        But I agree that better PHEVs are still valuable for accelerating plugin adoption. Lots of people want the ability (even if they rarely use it) to go on road trips without worrying about charger locations or recharging time.

        We need someone to push PHEV tech the way Tesla pushed EVs. Voltec is decent, but could be much better.

  4. James Looker says:

    Sort of makes sense to start with then goes totally off the rails with the rate structure.

    Any decent article really should have brought up the idea of the negative consequences of being extremely aggressive with the phase out of ICE vehicles.

    1. Stefan Scholz says:

      There are numerous ways to modify this principle to make it work. I was proposing a rather aggressive approach to expedite the timeline. One could easily just add $100 per year to the fee and it would have the same affect, only over a much longer period of time.

      Governments have used disincentives for a long time to modify undesirable behavior, such as so called sin taxes. This is no different.

      1. ffbj says:

        The viability of a solution lies within the probability of it’s implementation. Since this solution has no probability of being effected it does not qualify as solution.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          ^^ this.

          The attempt to make an analogy with a sin tax is a fallacy, pure and simple. We put “sin taxes” on things that people don’t really need, and can easily live without. It’s kinda hard to live without a car if you depend on it to drive to work every day!

  5. David Murray says:

    There is one major fallacy with this concept. You see, in order for a government to want to phase out ICE vehicles, most of the population that votes for that government would also have to be in favor of such a phase-out. And if that many people were honestly in favor of it, then the free market would already be making it happen.

    1. Doggydogworld says:

      It’s not a fallacy. A lot of people support the idea of getting off oil but aren’t personally willing to pay the freight for their etnire neighborhood. Which is basically what happens when people pay a lot more for EVs and their reduced demand lowers gasoline prices for everyone else.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        It’s a fallacy. David Murray is correct. This isn’t a matter of inertia, of people being reluctant to change. This is a matter of EV technology not yet being really competitive with gasmobile technology, from the standpoint of practicality.

        If PEVs were perceived by the general public as being better than gasmobiles, or even just as good, then they would already have captured a lot more than 2% of the market.

    2. Mikael says:

      You give the so called “free market” way too much credit.
      That is a broken system, especially when you want progress and want it fast.

      It is like letting all kids grow up without parents and just hope for the best. 😉

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Sounds like an argument in favor of the “Nanny State”, or even authoritarian governments, totalitarian states and dictatorships.

        Personally, I’m in favor of treating adults as if they’re actually adults, rather than children. Of expecting adults to take responsibility for their own actions, and treating them as if they are expected to do so.

  6. Eco says:

    “UNTAXED EXTERNALITIES” … air pollution from ICE’s … kills 7 million people per year (80K in USA, 8K in Canada) according to the WHO. A CARBON TAX partially addresses the issue but a POLLUTION TAX is better. Canada has implemented a Carbon Tax incrementally from $10/ton to $50/ton by 2022. It is ‘revenue neutral’ and the revenue use is determined by individual provinces e.g. British Columbia gives it back to it’s citizens and has been very successful.

  7. Joe says:

    Making EV exempted from local and state taxes would be an excellent start.
    A few cents tax on a gallon could be a good source of revenue to fund EV incentives.

    Just be careful manufacturers do not take advantage of the subsidies to increase their margins instead of further reducing their prices

  8. Joe says:

    Currently pricing of an EV is roughly double as an ICE.
    I’m surprised the gap is so big. Electric cars are far simpler than ICE.
    Batteries are still super expensive but still…

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      Take away the gas subsidies the US spends and the equation changes.

      The gas/petrol subsidies the US spends favors one fuel over the other……Gasoline.

      If you had to pay the real cost of gas, it all changes.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Currently pricing of an EV is roughly double as an ICE. I’m surprised the gap is so big. Electric cars are far simpler than ICE. Batteries are still super expensive but still…”

      Auto makers have had over a century to figure out ways to make gasmobiles cheaper. Gasmobile production also benefits enormously from the economy of scale; of making gasmobiles in far greater numbers than PEVs (Plug-in EVs).

      Give it a few more years; the price of PEVs (Plug-in EVs) will come down substantially as the EV revolution progresses.

  9. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    Too complicated. You don’t have to phase out ICE at all. That’s taking the wrong approach!

    Phase out the Gooberment petrol subsidies!!!!

    Petrol subsidies favors one technology (Gas) over the other (Electric). This does 2 things, it puts ICE cars on a level playing field as EV’s and frees up those funds (Trillion$) that the stupid gooberment has never planned on eliminating. Put those newly released funds to work on infrastructure and schools.

    He11, you probably won’t even need to have tax incentives for EV’s anymore. When people have to pay the true price of gas, that’s when you will see the change.

    That’s a pretty simple solution from a Troll.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      How I wish that were politically possible! But it’s not, at least not in the USA.

      1. So how about rewarding Employers that start and grow Workplace EV Charging?

        Offer a tax credit to their Municipal/State or Provincial/& Federal Taxes, as a ratio of the number EVSE’s installed for employee use!

        Add a factor for actually being used by Employees for charging up EV’s at Work, and a Factor for Adding Solar power to cover Daytime Loads!

        Most of my coworkers have said that if they could charge at work, they would buy an EV!

        At least having a growing number of coworkers driving EV’s, sets the stage for more awareness, and increased opportunity to learn about them.

        A 20 Amp, 240 Volt EVSE would be able to cover more than the 40 miles a day commute, and many people work 8-10 hours, about double the time for most charging needed, to cover a commute drive.

      2. JIMJFOX says:

        It’s ‘politically possible’- and has been reality- in the ROW for many decades. WHY it hasn’t been in USA is the burning question-something to do with “Land of the Free”, perhaps?
        That said, fuel excise/tax [call it what you will] has been subverted from its original declared purpose of ensuring infrastructure costs and redirected into what is quaintly called ‘consolidated revenue’…

        I believe it has got to the stage where losing it would collapse entire economies, so EV’s are a huge threat in that regard.

        The Dismal Science of Economics is largely smoke-&-mirrors, IMO.

  10. Dav8or says:

    Big government schemes… I mean “policies” implementing taxes… I mean “fees”, to force… I mean “incentivize” people to follow the desires of the elite technocrats… I mean “do the prescribed right thing”, is EXACTLY why Trump is in the White House… I mean Mar a Lago. To those scratching their heads and pulling their hair out and wondering how in the world could Trump be our president, the above op-ed is exactly how. There is significant number of American citizens that vote that don’t like big government and the elected a big mouth idiot to go and beat back the government.

    Let the electric car succeed on it’s own. If it can’t, maybe it’s not as great as you think it is. I think the steady progress shows EV domination is coming, just we don’t need to be so damn impatient.

  11. Doggydogworld says:

    Stefan – as you see there’s a strong reaction against any new tax (no matter what you call it).

    I’ve proposed a “feebate” system. ICE buyers pay a fee which goes into a pool to fund EV rebates. It’s easier to sell this as “everyone contributing toward the switch to electric” than “a tax to fund some politicians pet pork-barrel project”.

    EVs are ~1% of the market today with a ~$10k cost differential, so the fee is $100 and the rebate is $10k. As EV market share climbs, the ratio shifts:

    9% – $600 fee, $6000 rebate
    25% – $1000 fee, $3000 rebate
    50% – $1250 fee, $1250 rebate
    99% – $2000 fee, $20 rebate

    This assumes the manufacturing cost difference declines as EV volume increases, such that the end-user price difference settles in around $2k.

    This would still be a hard sell in the US but, as you say, might fly in CA and similar states. Not Michigan, ha.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      CA just passed the gas tax bill that also bumps up car registration fees.

      http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-senate-on-gas-1491508666-htmlstory.html

      All starts in November.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        Road tax bill…

    2. Stefan Scholz says:

      Great idea. Love it.

  12. GrokGrok says:

    It will probably go something like this:

    — 2025-2030, EU makes it increasingly prohibitive to buy anything without a plug;

    — CARB states follow with a 3 to 5 year delay; and

    — Rest of U.S. (i.e., federal standards) follows within 10 years.

    The political path is easier in Europe. Once it happens there, it will bring economies of scale and enough varieties of models to make it easy for the CARB states to latch on. While BEVs are the ultimate solution, just switching to PHEVs will bring dramatic reductions in fuel consumption, and make gas stations in many U.S. cities about as hard to find as EV charging stations are now.

  13. Scott Franco says:

    Alternatively, you could let market forces work.

    1. DJ says:

      That isn’t going to work. Way too many people who think a cheaper car up front is actually the cheaper car in the long run.

      I don’t see anything like this happening though for some time. Even if they started today where would all the batteries come from! Investment and infrastructure takes a long time to ramp up for something as large as the auto industry.

      1. Paul Smith says:

        Tell that to China.

    2. JIMJFOX says:

      HA! ‘Market forces’. What a laugh.

  14. Spider-Dan says:

    Any politician that supported a plan such as the one listed in this article would quickly find himself out of a job, to be replaced with someone who repealed it. This kind of policy would do a great deal to generate active outrage and backlash against EVs.

    ICEs will only go away when competing technology can beat them on the merits. BEVs can get a good chunk of the way there, but there are certain segments (people who can’t charge overnight at cheap residential rates; long-distance commercial vehicles) for whom BEVs will not work in the foreseeable future.

    This is why we need a supplementary technology that pairs with battery-electrics to fully replace ICEs. FCVs could fill that niche, but bizarrely many EV proponents are bent on killing FCVs in the crib. So we’ll be stuck with gas stations until some other quick-refuel technology comes along.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…we need a supplementary technology that pairs with battery-electrics to fully replace ICEs.

      The GM Volt does just fine, and would be even better if the powertrain was put into bigger vehicles.

      “FCVs could fill that niche, but bizarrely many EV proponents are bent on killing FCVs in the crib.”

      Fuel cell vehicles might be viable if they were powered by a practical fuel. The problem is they try to power them with the wholly impractical, expensive and hard to handle compressed hydrogen, which is far too expensive and hard to handle to ever be a practical everyday fuel.

      How bizarre of you to characterize it as “bizarre” that the overwhelming majority of EV advocates understand the realities of science, physics, and economics well enough to realize that the “hydrogen economy” is a dead end.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        PHEVs don’t eliminate ICEs; they supplement them.

        If we want to eliminate ICE vehicles, we need something with a similar usage profile. FCVs are the best existing option, and no one is really even suggesting a better version of the same kind of fast-refuel technology.

  15. realdb2 says:

    While the numbers might make sense, anything including a tax or fee is going to get almost immediately shot down.

    I firmly believe the surest way to increase EV adoption without fees or taxes is to drive the price of batteries down.

    In my opinion the more non-traditional auto companies invest in batteries or EVs, the faster the transition will happen.

    Traditional auto knows EVs are the future, but they want the transition to take as long as possible.

  16. Bill Howland says:

    Since I’m in the vast MINORITY of car buyers that ONLY drive plug-in cars, in the 1 to 2% range of car buyers where I live (NY State), I’d be far more fearful of them elmininating My type of car than the other way around.

    As long as EV’s don’t cause the PUBLIC in general much of an expense, those people won’t care.

    One way to get them MAD would be to force them to PAY for my preferences.

  17. Mark.ca says:

    Probably the best way to tax ICE is through an initial tax when the car first sells and transfer that as a rebate to the ev buyer. Call it carbon tax or pollution tax or anything you want. You can also structure this depending mpg consumption, charge more on the gas guzzlers.

  18. F150 Brian says:

    Keep it simple.

    Phase out any and all support (read: incentives/tax breaks/research grants/etc) for thing you want to stop (burning of petroleum).

    …and support (read: incentives/tax breaks/research grants/prefered lanes/etc) the thing you want to promote (green energy).

    BUT, don’t do anything extreme. The price of fuel rises, the price of green energy comes down and momentum takes over.

    Anything drastic (trying to force people out of a product they are familiar with or spending huge amounts to artificially create a market) is political suicide.

  19. Nix says:

    At this point, the vast majority of pure EV’s are owned by multi-car households who also have gas vehicles.

    People are able to make 1 pure EV work for their household BECAUSE they have a gas vehicle they can use for longer trips. We as EV advocates even told people how great an idea that is. We’ve been saying buy one of the short range EV’s for in town, and then use a gas car for long trips until long distance fast charging is available.

    But this idea would even punish those people who bought an EV to replace one of their gas vehicles in a multi-vehicle household. They would still be punished for doing exactly what us EV advocates said was the right thing to do.

    This is just a bad idea at this point in the rollout of EV’s.

  20. ericonline says:

    “Also, as this would only apply to new vehicle purchases it would only affect the wealthier segments of the population who can afford to purchase new vehicles” This is false and a common misconception of wealth re-distributioners. If you raise the price of new ICE vehicles via whatever tax/registration scheme. It increases the value/cost of cars on the used market. So Billy Bob who still needs a truck pays more for a used truck down the road.

    This is a similar concept to subsidizing “rich” people who buy Model S’s. The effective price is lowered, that savings is partially passed on to folks who buy used Teslas down the road. Thanks to all those tax credits to those who bought new Nissan LEAFs, you can now buy a used LEAF for like 6K.

  21. Nix says:

    The reality is that major transitions in energy sources take about 4 decades. This is true of the transition from whale oil lighting to electric lights, from steam trains to diesel trains, from coal heating stoves to natural gas or heating oil, from prop planes to jet planes, etc.

    Any realistic policy needs to start with that reality, and understand that reality can only be bent, not shattered.

    ICE car existence simply can’t be phased out in 10 years. Even if gas car sales ended today and only EV’s were sold starting tomorrow (not possible), there would still be 150+ million ICE cars on the road 10 years from now.

    The US economy can’t absorb simply throwing away billions of dollars of private equity in the form of our existing fleet of gas cars.

    The author clearly hasn’t actually thought through the consequences.

    1. Existing gas cars can be converted to Electric, in shops that do this, increasing employment in another related field, as well!

  22. Vexar says:

    As usual at InsideEVs, the comments are at least half the value of the article. My two cents: put signs up in all the ICE dealerships out there with a picture of Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump, and Scott Pruitt with the caption “Without your financial support of the oil industry, our elected leadership of this great nation would not have been possible.”
    Ought to cut ICE usage by 55%+, easy.

    1. Simple sign: Vote with your wallet here! Big Oil Loves You!

  23. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…the phase-out of ICE vehicles… will only happen… through consistent and aggressive government policies providing both incentives for EVs and disincentives for ICE vehicles. The trick is to do this in a way that is politically feasible…”

    This is pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Ain’t gonna happen.

    CARB tried that back circa 1999-2000; they got all excited about GM’s plans for putting the EV1 into production, and tried to mandate sales of zero-emission vehicles. I think we all remember how that turned out, don’t we?

    There is one, and only one, thing necessary to make ICE vehicles obsolete: The invention of commercially competitive EV batteries which can be charged in 5 minutes or less.

    That’s it. Everything else, from nationwide EV super-fast charging infrastructure, to cities installing slow charge hookups at all public parking places, to large auto makers switching over to producing PEVs (Plug-in EVs), will follow from that. Sure, it will take some years, just as it took some years for motor vehicles to replace horse-drawn vehicles back in the motorcar revolution.

    You can’t mandate technological innovation, and the government can’t force people to buy large very expensive things like PEVs rather than gasmobiles, unless people actually want to buy them. Even in Norway, with its massive tax and fee penalty (up to 100% of sticker price!) on gasmobiles, PEVs are still outsold by gasmobiles. According to Wikipedia: “The highest-ever monthly market share for the plug-in electric passenger segment was achieved in January 2017 with 37.5% of new car sales.”

    As they say: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” What we need is PEVs that are more competitive with gasmobiles… not Big Brother trying to force people to buy PEVs. That won’t make the EV revolution succeed; it will just create resentment and backlash against EVs.

    1. ericonline says:

      P.P. I agree except the part about 5 minutes or less. After driving 2 hours or more 15-20 minutes really isn’t a burdensome wait. By the time you stretch your legs, use the restroom, and maybe get a snack 20 minutes has gone by. I took the Model S on our first road trip this past weekend. I spent 15 minutes at a supercharger when I didn’t even need the juice to get to our next stop. If you plan stops around meal times an hour isn’t so bad to recharge.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Hmmm, well maybe I should have said “10 minutes or less”.

        But I can’t agree with you on the 15-20 minutes assertion. Americans have a psychological barrier against waiting more than 15 minutes for anything. Don’t take my word for that; Google the subject for yourself.

        Also, ordinary everyday competition will drive faster and faster EV charging. If Station A offers a charge in 15 minutes, and just across the street Station B offers a 10-minute charge at only a slightly higher price, won’t most people choose Station B? Of course they will.

        There will be some sweet spot at which the average charging speed won’t get any faster, because every minute of reduction in charging time means higher power will be required from the charger… which means more expensive equipment and higher power bought from the local electric utility. It also means the cars themselves have to be built to accept a faster charge, which makes them more expensive too.

        But that sweet spot will come at less than 15 minutes for the average PEV to get a full charge; on that point we can rely. The market will demand it.

    2. JIMJFOX says:

      “There is one, and only one, thing necessary to make ICE vehicles obsolete: The invention of commercially competitive EV batteries which can be charged in 5 minutes or less.”

      A bold and probably wrong claim. Batteries may turn out to be only a transitional solution, until another electrical storage system overtakes them. What? Who knows- that’s the mystery of new technology.
      Weight is the Achilles heel of battery banks in big mobile objects [obviously, much stored energy is wasted in lugging around the power source itself]; and storage capacity in small ones [phones. etc].

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yes, possibly that will turn out to be rather short-sighted. Orville Wright once said “No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris…” 🙂

        Personally, I have hopes that someday (probably not within my lifetime), cars will be powered by a small nuclear-electric generator, altho press coverage of the tech treats it as mostly a joke, as seen here (link).

  24. Stefan Scholz says:

    It looks like my article has inspired quite a passionate debate on both sides of the issue. That is part of why I wrote this article, to stimulate discussion about how and if EVs should be subsidized or Plug-in adoption should be aided and supported by the government.

    I agree that implementing a fee like I suggested, a carbon tax, or similar measure would be very difficult and controversial here in the US. However, in many countries in Europe citizens are more supportive of government intervention to mitigate carbon pollution.

    I believe in most developed countries people would buy vastly more EVs if there was greater choice of models and the price was closer to ICE vehicles.

    It is the classic chicken and egg problem. Auto & battery manufactures don’t dare to invest the necessary resources because they are not convinced there is a viable market. Therefore EV volumes are low, prices are high, and there are not enough models to fit everyone’s needs.

    Governments in Europe have long favored diesels by giving tax breaks on diesel vehicles and fuel. Consequently diesels have proliferated and reached 50% market share in most countries. Why not do the same for EVs to level the playing field.

    Those of you who are against government intervention conveniently disregard the fact that it has supported fossil fuels with billions in subsidies for decades and still does.

    Either way I enjoyed reading all of your comments and hope this article will give impetus for further discussion on the topic.

    1. Vexar says:

      Oh, we don’t ignore it, too many of us are ignorant of fuel subsidies. Furthermore, practically none of us know how to fight the system.

      1. I wonder how many people at work formed a Workplace EV Club, Coalition of EV Employees, EV Union, or anything to generate a larger voice to Employers, to get them to be onboard with starting and growing EV Charging in the Workplace?

        I believe that EV’s are different enough to most, that it is more than just a price or range difference that holds them back!

        Even though 2 Employees where I work own Tesla Model S 90D’s, and ther are at least 2 Volts, and I think, a LEAF, There seems to be no common voice for them to communicate with the company on this matter of workplace charging.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Stefan:

      Thank you for the article and for stimulating an interesting discussion. Even though I don’t think your suggested solution is practical, still it’s good to inspire people to think through these issues.

      The article is clearly labeled “op-ed”, and as such I welcome its inclusion at InsideEVs despite my disagreeing with many of the opinions expressed therein.

      I hope to see more op-ed pieces from you!

  25. Someone out there says:

    It’s simple, just make better EVs at lower prices and the market will follow.