It’s only going up!
Figures show that in August in Norway (the leading nation globally, in electric vehicle adoption), fully electric vehicle sales reached a staggering 72% of the market. If you consider plug-in hybrid variants, that number jumps to an eye watering 92% market share for electric vehicles.
Norway is a minnow in car sales compared to the US market, where EV market penetration currently sits at 2.5%, but even that represents a 100% increase in the first half of 2021, in a market that has been suppressed by chip shortages and the pandemic.
This has been driven by a slew of new vehicles from traditional brands, like Ford with the Mustang Mach E, Volkswagen with the ID4 and also by incumbent players like Tesla which dominates the US EV market with 79% market share, driven by huge interest in the Model 3 and Model Y.
Here come the trucks
The next wave is where things get very interesting in the US, the trucks are coming. The US’s love of trucks, which dominate automotive sales, are about to see the EV effect, with Amazon backed Rivian poised this month to deliver their first vehicles the R1T and R1S, Ford reimagining the legendary F150 with an electric power train and the Lightning moniker, and of course Tesla set to start production of the Cybertruck (which is rumoured to have reservations of over 1 million units!), there will be viable, alternatives to traditional gas and diesel vehicles.
The practical benefits
As EV owners love to point out, whilst detractors will often cite concerns over range and upfront cost, the actual experience of ownership is very different.
Let’s talk fuel
Firstly, the cost differential on putting fuel in, means that in the US, 300 miles of driving, in a traditional F150, with a EPA rated consumption rate of 20mpg, will cost an average US driver $47.70 (most upto date AAA figures).
Conduct the same mileage in the F150 Lightning and based on average US cost of electricity and the owner will only be paying $13.55 (this does vary State to State of course).
That would yield an electric F150 driver a 61% reduction in fuel costs.
On the subject of cost saving
EV’s offer numerous other cost benefits, with servicing needs dramatically reduced, no more annual oil change, and a side effect that surprises many at first, your brakes get very little wear. With regenerative braking charging your vehicle as you coast, go downhill or pull up to a junction, the need to actually press the brake pedal is reduced, and early adopters of these vehicles report brake discs and pads often lasting into 100’s of thousands of miles.
Vehicle to Grid technology is now becoming a feature on a lot of new EV’s, with both the Lightning and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 having been set up to support the ability of your vehicle, acting as your supply feed for your home, so in the event of supply difficulties such as those recently experienced in Texas, during the Epcot outages, your vehicle means you don’t have to worry.
The opportunity that this represents for the Retail Energy provider market is immense, as each of those vehicle purchases has lifted and shifted the energy that was formally delivered by a gas pump at a service station, to a driveway at home or a parking space at work.
Many column inches are given to the rise of Electrify America and Tesla’s Supercharger network, but the reality of EV ownership is that the bulk of the charging you will do, will be done overnight at home, or in the parking lot at work.
So, the opportunity is to help the consumers with “The Great Lift and Shift”, by enabling them with technologies that they will need. In Europe we can already see this happening with energy thought leaders like Octopus Energy in the UK, providing EV specific tariffs, with renewable electricity, and wall mounted chargers that halve the time it takes to charge a vehicle.
Whilst the US may be currently slower at adopting these new technologies, we can learn a lot from what is happening in Europe, where governmental incentives and legislation are massively accelerating adoption, costs coming down as well as a far broader set of options for consumers are enabling the take up rate to hit the hockey stick moment, where driving an electric vehicle is no longer the choice of the few, but a genuine option for most.