Are More Electric Cars Hitting the Roads Soon?
For years, centuries really, the success of electric cars has ebbed and flowed. The success has always been a bit limited, particularly when gasoline powered engines ended up being more cost effective for a majority of drivers. Even as eco-conscious drivers pined over electric vehicles, there were many aspects that kept them from being top-selling vehicles.
Historically, electric cars have not been known for their affordability. With the Tesla Model 3 costing around $35,000 and the newest model, The Roadster, which is slated to cost more than $100,000, electric cars remain a “dream car” for many drivers. Fortunately, there are a great deal of electric cars that cost under $30,000, which will ultimately make it easier for more drivers to take the plunge and upgrade their vehicle.
Without a charging station conveniently nearby, a majority of electric car trips end up being short and a lot of drivers don’t want to be limited in travel (even less than the already limited range of EVs). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are currently over 14,000 charging stations throughout the country, a majority of them in larger cities. Fortunately, charging stations are starting to pop up in the Heartland of America. Take Hy-Vee, Inc., for example, the chain of Midwestern grocery stores in 8 states, installs charging stations at every new store and currently has 4 charging stations each at 42 stores. Not only does installing a few charging stations benefit and invite EV drivers, but drivers are more likely to shop and spend more time in places that have charging stations. It’s a win-win.
As electric cars are becoming more affordable, the demographic of electric car owners is destined to expand. According to a 2014 Experian study, 26% of electric car buyers were of the Baby Boomer generation (56 and older) while 45% of the same demographic purchased hybrids. 55% of electric car buyers were between the age of 36 and 55 years when the study took place. Jump ahead a few years and Millennials are taking the lead in showing interest in purchasing an electric car with about 50%.
With a younger demographic of drivers comes the risk of more speeding and distraction related accidents, as drivers between the ages of are more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors behind the well like texting and driving. While many potential EV buyers held off going electric because they questioned the safety of the car on roadways. Electric cars, are in fact safe, and have to pass the same kind of safety tests their gasoline powered counterparts. Instead of worrying about how safely an electric car is manufactured, EV drivers should focus on and watch out for fellow EV drivers, particularly those who fall in the “more likely to be in an accident” category.
While the interest in EVs continues to increase, it’s not likely that we will see a change overnight. Keep in mind, the average car owner drives his or her car for about 11 years, but by the time that more people are ready to make the big switch to electric, there will be more charging stations and the price, hopefully, should continue to decrease.