You see ads for electric cars everywhere and you probably know at least one person who has a model of their own. Whether it’s a luxurious Tesla or a more attainable Nissan Leaf, shoppers are enamored with these types of vehicles.
With factors like the climate to consider as well as the cost of gasoline, many people are excited about electric vehicles (EVs) and the future of automotive market. But that’s just it: electric cars are still view as products of the future, not something they can enjoy now.
Below, we discuss why electric cars are not yet the mainstream of the automotive world as well as what it will take for them to get there.
Why Electric Cars Are Not Yet Mainstream
In short, electric cars are not mainstream yet. No matter how much press and attention they get, they just simply don’t compare to popularity of gas-operated automobiles.
Electric cars are still viewed as the “cars of the future”, not the vehicles of today. Thus, many drivers view them as such—they’re not made for the average driver on today’s roads and they don’t meet the needs of regular people.
These futuristics vehicles are still very much a fantasy and a “dream car” for many, and dream cars are not mainstream. For electric vehicles to become the go-to cars for shoppers, things will need to change. For example, through incentives such as the cash for clunkers program where the government (and/or dealers) incentivize people to get rid of their less-than-perfect vehicles in exchange for credits to purchase a newer one.
Barriers to Becoming Mainstream
Although many would love to own and drive an EV, there are several factors that make them less feasible to operate and own. Read through them below:
One barrier to EV accessibility its range. Gas-powered vehicles are currently able to drive hundreds of miles farther than EVs. Most electric cars have a range that is between 200 and 300 miles. Some do have the capacity travel more than 300 miles, but this doesn’t satisfy drivers who need to travel long distances.
Many gas-powered cars ranges start at 300 and can go past 700 miles. While hybrid vehicles can compete, fully electric cars currently cannot.
No one really enjoys waiting in line for gas, but the time it actually takes to fill up your car is nothing compared to how long it takes to charge an EV. You can be done gassing up your car in minutes, but an electric vehicle takes at least 30 minutes for a partial charge.
If your battery is completely depleted though, it will take hours to charge. Depending on the model you get, it can take between four hours and 40 hours to full charge your EV.
This can be a real challenge if you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry. You’ll have to plan very carefully if you’re traveling hundreds of miles in an EV.
Worst of all, charging stations are not as readily available as gas stations. Even in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be able to find a gas station. Charging stations, on the other hand, aren’t even readily available in all cities. The infrastructure just isn’t there yet.
When you enter a dealership, you don’t see many electric cars to test drive. Depending on the manufacturer, you might not even find one. As a result, shoppers aren’t test driving electric vehicles and are not able to compare them to their gas-powered counterparts.
How are shoppers supposed to know that they want an electric vehicle if they can’t even try one out?
However, this is a chicken versus egg situation. Dealerships can’t bring in more electric cars if shoppers aren’t interested, but electric cars can’t gain interest if shoppers can’t test them in person.
While there are electric vehicles on the market that are on the more affordable side, they are still not as budget-friendly as many gas-powered automobiles.
The starting cost brand-new electric cars is just under $30,000. In comparison, you can find a new gas-powered car that is less than half that cost. So, for many American shoppers, an electric car simply isn’t feasible or budget-friendly.
Moreover, you don’t often see pre-owned electric cars on used lots, making it that much harder to find an affordable electric vehicle.
When Will Electric Cars Be Mainstream?
EVs are cool, sophisticated, and enviable but that’s not enough for them to make onto driveways. Their introduction was exciting but drivers are slow to adopt the electric cars.
Despite their low demand, many manufacturers are making plans to have fully electric lineups in the next 10 years. Clearly, auto makers are anticipating that shoppers will buy electric models if more are available.
Overall, it’s hard to predict when these kinds of vehicles will be mainstream and outnumber traditional cars on the road. EVs face several barriers than need to be overcome. Plus, consumers need to be able to change their lifestyles if they want to have zero-emission future.
More needs to be done to address the valid concerns of drivers in order for EVs to become more popular.
While many of us would love to be driving a zero-emission machine, electric cars just don’t fit neatly into our lives yet. Right now, we get everything we need out of our gas-powered vehicles and oftentimes, we get a lot more out of them.
For electric cars to become mainstream, they need to be more affordable, accessible, and meet the standards we currently have for vehicles.