We’ve told you about the struggles in the auto industry lately – microchip shortages, supply chain issues – but despite all of this, sales of electric cars keep growing.
Electric vehicles accounted for nearly 5% of light vehicle sales in the United States in July, according to consulting firm Atlas Public Policy. This is almost double the sales of the previous July.
Tesla still dominates the market, but Ford told us this week that it is opening electric vehicle factories in Kentucky and Tennessee. Then there are the buyer incentives and infrastructure financing in the budget reconciliation bill in Congress.
Let’s not lose sight of this: sales of electric vehicles, excluding hybrids, still only represent a little over 2% of sales. But their growth is strong.
âUntil about a year ago, if you wanted an electric vehicle that cost less than $ 50,000, all your options were compact cars,â Harto said. This class size, he said, is not very popular, even for cars with combustion engines.
Over time, Tesla had competition, while Volkswagen and General Motors introduced cheaper SUVs. And Ford said he has 120,000 pre-orders for its EV F-150 truck, scheduled for launch next spring.
âWe are really seeing an explosion in consumer choice, and it’s only just beginning,â Harto said.
Automobile manufacturers who invest in the variety of electric vehicles are certainly important, but we should not overlook the importance of government policy in the evolution of transportation, said Paul bledsoe, consultant to President Barack Obama’s Department of Energy. He now works for the Progressive Policy Institute think tank.
âTax incentives are crucial in getting people into the EV driver’s seat,â Bledsoe said.
Congressional Budget Reconciliation Bill Would Add Even More Tax Incentives, Bringing Up Possible Total credit up to $ 12,500.
But despite all these practicalities, this change in the auto industry comes down to what people want, for Stephanie Brinley at the consulting firm IHS Markit.
âCars always tend to be an emotional buy. There’s a ton of choice out there, so we’re definitely doing a lot of streamlining for what we really want, âshe said.
What some people want right now, she said, is to feel good about the environmental consequences of what they’re driving.