According to experts, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States is steadily increasing and could follow a similar trajectory to Norway, where EVs make up around 80 percent of new car sales. Although EV sales in the U.S. currently represent only about seven percent of new cars sold, the market is expected to rapidly trend upward. California, for example, saw a significant increase in EV sales, with 25 percent of new cars sold in the first half of 2023 being electric.
However, challenges still exist in promoting EV adoption in the U.S. A lack of charging infrastructure, unfamiliarity with EV technology, a polarized political climate, and a sense of individualism contribute to the slow proliferation. Approximately 66 percent of Republicans are hesitant to switch to EVs, compared to only 25 percent of Democrats. Nonetheless, there is not much of a political divide among those who actually purchase EVs, with ownership distributed fairly equally between Democrats and Republicans.
Education and awareness are crucial in addressing these obstacles. Many American drivers are unaware that EVs are typically cheaper to charge than gasoline cars are to fill up, and only about one third believe that EVs are better for daily commuting. Clear communication of the practical benefits, such as cost savings and environmental impact, is necessary to drive the point home.
In addition to these challenges, potential hurdles to widespread EV adoption include supply chain problems, resource scarcity, and labor unrest. Unions, concerned about potential job loss in the auto industry, may resist the shift towards electric vehicles.
However, history has shown that reluctant adopters eventually come around. In 2000, a quarter of Americans said they would never own a cell phone, yet today, cell phone ownership is nearly universal. The same progression could occur with EVs, with more individuals convinced of their benefits over time. Only time will tell if the U.S. population fully embraces electric vehicles in the next 20 years.
– The Washington Post
– Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association
– California New Car Dealers Association