Turning Point In USA’s Transition To Electric Vehicles

General Motors has partnered with EVgo to deploy more than 2,700 fast chargers across the U.S. CREDIT: GM

John Paul MacDuffie and Sarah E. Light, both professors at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, have published an article on Yale E360 highlighting the improving potential for electric vehicles to dominate the USA market sooner than previously expected:

EV Turning Point: Momentum Builds for U.S. Electric Vehicle Transition

Driven by GM, Tesla, and the Biden administration, the U.S. is now poised to press ahead in the transformation to electric vehicles. Big challenges still loom, but technological advances, government support, and growing consumer appeal will drive the inevitable switch to EVs.

Last month’s failure of the Texas electric grid, coming just weeks after General Motors’ pledge to make only electric vehicles by 2035, highlights the daunting task the United States faces as it takes the first steps toward weaning its economy off fossil fuels. While GM’s announcement is striking from a historical vantage point — the nation’s largest automaker choosing to jettison the internal combustion engine — the collapse of the Texas grid underscores how far the country has to go as it attempts to “electrify everything.”

Despite these challenges, the U.S. finds itself at a promising turning point, with new economic, social, and political forces driving a key aspect of the decarbonization of the economy — the electrification of cars and, eventually, trucks. The U.S. lags behind China and the European Union in the transition to electric vehicles, or EVs. But if the private sector and federal and state governments make a commitment to electric vehicles — something that has already begun with the Biden administration and U.S. automakers — we think that within two decades a majority of new automobiles sold in the U.S. will be electric.

The road to that goal is strewn with obstacles, most notably establishing an extensive nationwide network of charging stations and improving batteries to the point where any EV can go as far on a rapid charge as an internal combustion car can on a tank of gas. And consumer attitudes will need to change, with individuals no longer viewing gasoline as the only reliable way to power a vehicle. But as technology steadily advances, with consumers installing solar panels on their roofs and batteries in their garages, the EV transition will hold tremendous appeal as a decentralized, empowering system where individuals can rely on self-generated electricity for their homes and cars, while also selling surplus power back to the grid…

Read the whole article here.

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