It seems that every day we hear more and more about electric vehicles and the future of automobile fuel. Some sources claim that electricity is the future, and that the future is quickly approaching, while others argue it will never fully catch on. In this article, I look at some of the current variables pushing for electric vehicles, as well as some electric vehicles set to hit the road in the coming years that may change our concept of electric vehicles.
Norway, a global leader in electric vehicle sales and registrations, announced impressive electric vehicle sales numbers for September 2018. Norway reported that a whopping 60% of the cars sold and registered in September had some sort of electrification, and 45% of them were fully electric. The huge increase in electric vehicles came with major benefits- the emissions recorded from these new cars registered at 55g per km, down 16g per km from the previous year and a record for all-time lowest vehicle emissions.
Common knowledge tells us that we should drive electric cars for a number of reasons, such as helping ourselves and the environment with cleaner emissions and preventing catastrophe that could be caused by depleting our fossil fuels. Switching to an electric, however, isn’t as straightforward as it may sound. Despite incentives such as tax write- offs and benefits for our health and the environment, the higher price tag on electric vehicles continues to deter many consumers from purchasing electric vehicles. The average electric vehicle costs thousands of dollars more to produce than a traditional car, and consumers aren’t willing to make a purchase when those increased production costs are reflected in the vehicle’s price tag. Automakers are stuck between consumers wanting affordable cars and governments pushing emission regulations and wanting more electric vehicles.
Automakers are starting to come to terms with the fact that they are going to have to bite the bullet on electric vehicle profits until electric cars become the norm. Consumer demand for prices comparable to traditional cars is forcing automakers to lower the prices of their electric vehicles, despite the fact that they cost thousands more to produce. Although it’s not a great situation to be in, most vehicle producers see it as an unavoidable cost that they might as well spend now; If they don’t lower electric vehicle prices and continue to focus on traditional vehicle production and sales, they could eventually be hit with government fines for their emissions. Many countries are pushing for lower, cleaner emissions by 2030, and any automakers that don’t make the cut can end up losing the profits they saw from traditional vehicle sales to government fines. If they lower the current cost of electric vehicles and promote them now and take a loss on their profit margins, they should be in the green regarding emission numbers in the future and can therefore avoid costly fines.
The effect of governments setting guidelines for clean emissions and the need for alternate renewable and efficient fuel sources is already showing in many automakers. On one hand we have companies like Tesla and Fisker that aim to provide drivers with entirely electric fleets in the near future, but this isn’t the case for every automaker. Many traditional auto companies have already started adding electric and hybrid options to their fleet, and plan on moving towards converting substantial amounts of their future fleets towards electric power or other clean, renewable fuel sources. In fact, even automaker Mazda announced that they expect at least 5% of their total sales will be electric vehicles by 2030. To put things into perspective, Mazda currently doesn’t offer any electric vehicle models of any sort. Further, by 2030 Mazda claims that all of its vehicles will have some sort of electrification, whether that be a mild hybrid, plug-in or fully electric.
At this point it seems fairly clear that the future will eventually lead to a majority of electric vehicles of some sort on the road. But what does this mean for the car enthusiast? Sure, automakers like Ford, Nissan, Chevrolet and more already provide consumers with electric options for normal everyday life, like the Volt, Leaf, Prius and a variety of hybrid versions of common cars; But what about the lover of luxury? The speed demon that needs a sports car? Commercial logistics? Luckily for us, these needs haven’t been forgotten. There are a few vehicles set to launch in the coming years that may just change what we think about electric cars, and it looks like there will be some sort of electric option for just about every driver.
Let’s start simple with Volkswagen’s upcoming I.D. line. The German automaker plans on releasing three models in the upcoming years; the I.D. compact sedan, the I.D. Crozz crossover SUV, and the I.D. Buzz, a modern electric remake of their iconic Microbus. For the everyday driver, VW claims that the I.D. sedan will have 168 horsepower and a range of around 300 miles per charge, and VW says it will be priced similarly to a Golf with comparable specs and features. VW further claims that they plan to introduce autonomous driving to the sedan by 2025.
For those wanting a little more power and room, the Crozz SUV will feature two electric motors that deliver 302 horsepower. Similar to the I.D., the Crozz is expected to get about 300 miles per charge. For tech-savvy drivers, the Crozz is rumored to feature a 10.2-inch infotainment display and, like the I.D., should support autonomous driving by 2025.
Let’s be honest, the original VW Microbus is cool. When the Buzz launches, it’s going to get cooler. Expected to launch in 2022, the Buzz will carry two electric motors which provide it with a nice 369 horsepower and the ability to go 0-60 in under five seconds. The best feature? The Buzz will seat eight, and VW claims the seats will be able to move and swivel in the interior, allowing for drivers and passengers to arrange the inside of the bus to their pleasing.
Some drivers, however, want a little more speed and luxury in their ride. If you don’t want a Tesla, make sure to keep your eye on the Porsche Taycan. This electric beast is supposed to have a range over 310 miles per charge and two permanently excited synchronous motors that boasts over 600 horsepower, giving the Taycan the ability to accelerate 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds!
Moving away from passenger vehicles, let’s briefly touch on the electric future of logistics. Although most automakers are still focusing just on building electric fleets for the average consumer, Tesla introduced their concept for an electric semi-truck in 2017. Tesla says that the Tesla SEMI will feature a fully electric drivetrain capable of towing 80,000 pounds over 500 miles on a single charge. Aside from, obviously, moving commercial logistics away from traditional fuel with harmful emissions, Tesla’s goal for the SEMI is to actually outperform traditional gas semi-trucks. The automaker hopes that its fully electric SEMI will be safer, more efficient, and perform better than traditional engines. With that being said, the SEMI isn’t currently available and companies like Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, PepsiCo and more have already placed orders for the vehicle.
Overall, it’s becoming clear that electric cars will be a part of the future, although it isn’t yet clear exactly what that will look like. From hybrids to fully electric vehicles, family cars to sports machines and even commercial vehicles, it seems like there will be an eco-friendly vehicle option for every driver. With governments pushing guidelines for safer emissions and consumers demanding affordable electric alternatives to current car fleets, there’s a good chance we will see an increase of affordable electric vehicles in the coming years.
For the time being, however, most drivers are still behind the wheel of a traditional gas engine. If your car isn’t running like it used to and you’re not quite ready for a new electric vehicle (or you’re just waiting to get your hands on a Taycan), Holbrook Auto Parts is the premiere place for automotive parts and service in the Detroit area. We can special order parts for virtually any vehicle and are proud to offer the best prices around town. Stop by one of our locations today and we’ll make sure you stay On the Move!
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