2023: The Year of the Electric Vehicle?
The future of cars is electric. This is not a contested statement in the auto world today. It is more a question of when that future will demonstrate itself in the market place. Some are predicting that point will be 2023. There are certainly a number of indications pointing in this direction.
One of the advantages that electric vehicles (EVs) have is the reduced footprint of their drivetrain. The primary bulk of an EV is the massive battery that usually spans the bottom of the car, opening up space in the interior. This makes for a more spacious interior and the Y from Tesla takes advantage of this well. But is this enough for it to remain the best-selling car in a limited market?
While the competition is mainly regular internal combustion engine (ICE) cars with a battery bolted on, many automakers have now shifted to EV-specific platforms and have built their cars from the ground up to include drivetrain components for EVs. These include the Audi e-tron, BMW i-series, Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV, Ford Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Polestar, among others.
As more and more automakers join the market, the issues surrounding EVs are becoming more apparent. Tesla, for example, has had problems with build quality and spare parts availability. However, despite this, owners remain in love with their cars. Toyota recently disassembled a Model Y to study it and their executives were impressed by its design. They stated that they need a new platform designed as a blank-sheet EV.
In countries where Tesla dealerships are not present, it is almost impossible to buy unless you have an unlimited budget. This has contributed to the low adoption of EVs in some countries. However, countries like Norway have been offering subsidies for EV sales for over a decade, which has led to the country having the most EVs per capita in the world.
EVs seem to be receiving good reliability ratings and the thought of fewer auto mechanics in the future has been considered. It is also believed that EVs are better for the environment due to their reduced carbon footprints. In addition, as the technology for batteries improves, so too will the range of EVs.
2023 may or may not be the year of the EV, but one thing is clear: automakers are increasingly investing in the development of EVs tailored for different markets and are aiming to address the challenges facing EV adoption. The transition to electric vehicles is no longer a question of if, but rather when.
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Author Eliza Ng