Critics have long dismissed electric vehicles as overly expensive, inconvenient, and impractical. But in 2022, we didn’t hear them. With record EV sales this year, there are now billions of dollars in new federal funding designed to encourage companies to build electric vehicles and encourage customers to buy electric vehicles. It has been. As a result, EVs are increasingly becoming less of a niche product for engineers and environmentalists and more of a car that everyday people can drive. It seems that the age of electricity has finally arrived.

The numbers bear this out. Tesla builds hundreds of thousands of electric cars every quarter, and new competitors like Rivian and Lucid are also expanding their business. Major Detroit automakers are also making the move to EVs. Ford says electric vehicle sales have increased by more than 100% since this time last year, and GM plans 10 new EV models for 2023. Cox Automotive tracks data for the automotive industry. Demand for electric vehicles is still outstripping supply, and the company expects more than 1 million EVs to be sold in the US in 2023.

Of course, the coming electric age will create new challenges, which will become apparent next year. Some consumers worry that their electric vehicles won’t get them where they want to go or that they still don’t have enough charging available. The grid also needs a major upgrade to prepare for the influx of electric vehicles. On the other hand, EV manufacturing requires scarce materials, many of which are processed in just one country of his (China), creating significant environmental problems.

But the transition to EVs is well underway. More than 3.2 million of his EVs have been sold in the US since 2011, according to the Electrification Coalition. This means that a significant number of people are already driving EVs as workers, owners or on a rental basis. Decade-old factories in the Detroit area are being renovated to build these new cars. There are charging stations in office parking lots, national parks, Starbucks stores and even gas stations. These are just some of the important milestones the US achieved this year in its larger effort to mainstream electric vehicles.

EV is no longer synonymous with Tesla

Tesla has boomed the electric car industry and is still the world’s largest EV maker in some quarters. But as demand for electric vehicles rises across the board, the company’s dominance in the electric vehicle market appears to be waning. According to S&P Global Mobility, Tesla accounted for his 79% of EV registrations in 2020, but has fallen to just 65% of new EVs registered in the US this year.

One big reason for the decline is Tesla’s focus primarily on luxury cars. It now faces competition from more affordable cars produced by traditional automakers. According to the Electrification Coalition, there are currently 68 EV models on sale in the U.S., with 62 more EV models on the way. So it might not come as much of a surprise that Cox estimates that Tesla will make up just 20% of the EV market by 2025.

Electric vehicles are not just cars

In May, Ford began shipping the new F-150 Lightning, an electric version of the country’s best-selling pickup truck. GM is ramping up production of the electric Hummer, which first began delivering vehicles late last year, and the car also made an appearance in the new model. call of duty. Rivian, the first company to build an EV pickup in the US, currently builds thousands of vehicles, and Tesla plans to release the product at some point. blade runner-Cybertruck style. All of these tracks show how quickly our vision of what EVs can and should look like is changing.

Some of the most important new electric cars aren’t all that flashy. Governments are spending billions of dollars to electrify school buses and mail trucks across the country, which can have a significant environmental impact. Delivery vehicles have transitioned to electric vehicles, helping to reduce emissions. Even the giant trucks he drives hundreds of miles a day to haul goods across the country are increasingly becoming electric. Daimler unveiled its electric eActros LongHaul heavy-duty truck this year, and Tesla began delivering its first semi trucks to PepsiCo just a few weeks ago.

Detroit pivots to EVs

At the first Detroit Auto Show since the Covid-19 pandemic began, electric cars were the star. Attended by President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the event will highlight how traditional automakers are transforming factories and the nation’s most popular car models for the electric age. But the battle for the future of cars and trucks has also begun as governments provide these companies with billions of dollars in loans and tons of promotions.

These 100-year-old automakers are racing to hire engineers who can program the algorithms that operate their increasingly electrified and computerized vehicles. These companies are also placing some of their new facilities in states that are less friendly to organized workers than Motor City. At the same time, some workers are against this vision. Earlier this month, workers at a new battery plant set up by General Motors and LG Energy voted to join the National Auto Workers’ Union.

Russia invades Ukraine

In February, Russia launched an attack on Ukraine, starting a war that has killed thousands and displaced millions. Governments are now becoming more aware of Russia’s dependence on gas, and some are accelerating the transition to renewable energy. At the same time, some consumers turned to electric vehicles as a way to escape rising fuel prices. Even Secretary of State Buttigieg pitched the idea.

Nationwide EV charging network launched

The US already has tens of thousands of public EV chargers installed, according to the Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. And more chargers are coming every month. The number of Tesla Superchargers has increased by more than 30% since last year, according to the company’s third-quarter investor report. According to another charging network, Electrify America, the number of times people have charged their EVs at stations has already exceeded the nearly 1.5 million charging sessions seen in 2021.

But I still need a charger. In preparation, the Biden administration has drawn up plans for his 2022 national network of chargers. The White House allocated his $5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act to states to help build chargers on 53,000 miles of highways, and he also secured $2.5 billion to ensure adequate service. Chargers are installed in areas not receiving The idea is to eradicate concerns that someone might get stuck in a place with no place to plug it in.

government gets serious

In addition to the nationwide charging network, the Infrastructure Act allocates billions of dollars to strengthen the power grid and increase the country’s battery manufacturing capacity. Two new legislative packages signed this year add to this investment. One of his biggest climate investments to date is the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS Act to fund new American chip manufacturing. Essential for manufacturing electric vehicles.

The government has also used 2022 to set a new deadline for electrification. The IRA has revamped tax incentives meant to encourage consumers and businesses to buy EVs, but it also encourages businesses to accelerate plans to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries in the United States. (The Department of Commerce recently postponed aspects of the program until his March). At the same time, California announced earlier this year that it would ban the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035, and Oregon made the same promise on Tuesday. So while EVs may seem a little far away, the time is ticking.

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