Why are electric cars so hard to adopt?

The Geneva Auto Show awarded “Car of the Year” to an electric car: the Jaguar i-Pace, the first of its kind for this manufacturer. The 2019 show’s goal was to praise the firm’s efforts by highlighting their autonomy and intelligent energy consumption. Nevertheless, we should remember that electrification of the automobile sector remains a challenge in many regards.

The electric car: an economical and ecological car

The first of the electric car’s advantages is undoubtedly impressive: a 100 kilometer drive costs approximately 2 euros for electricity versus 11.50 euros for gas.

In addition to being ecological by significantly reducing a driver’s carbon footprint, the electric car also has economic benefits when charged at home. By contrast, the charging stations that are proliferating in public spaces often present a problem, as they all too often have prohibitive prices.

Owning an electric car also brings about significant savings in terms of vehicle maintenance. Indeed, there are fewer moving parts, and there’s less wear on the brakes.

Is the electric car really a success?

The electric car was developed in France in 2011 and experienced a significant spike in 2017. That year, there were nearly 25,000 electric cars owned by private individuals. However, this is still a pretty small figure compared to the 32.5 million vehicles currently in use in France, according to the INSEE.

Today, electric cars barely account for 1% of new vehicle sales.

So why are manufacturers investing so much in electric cars?

Let’s remember that the European mindset and, in particular, current European Union legislation requires car manufacturers to sell less polluting vehicles. Indeed, the goal for manufacturers is to reduce C02 emission by 40% by 2030 or face fines.

Longer ranges: the next challenge for electric cars

Manufacturers know all too well that range remains an important factor when purchasing an electric car. We rarely pass the threshold of 200 km/hour in real-world conditions, despite all the efforts made by manufacturers. At the same time, the inconsistency of charging stations across France is still a sensitive subject. To fill the gap, the state foresees adding 7 million new stations by 2030.

Charging stations won’t come to the rescue

Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’ll only take you a few minutes to get fully charged (like at the gas pump). The time required to charge an electric car can take as much as eight hours for a normal recharge. This is why it’s advisable to charge your vehicle at home. Nevertheless, there’s a risk of electrical overheating if charging takes place too frequently and if the system is outdated. So consider upgrading your electrical system and spacing your charges to make the most of your vehicle’s range.

Despite these various inconveniences, we can already say that cars of the future will be autonomous and connected. This is the next step after successfully reducing vehicle emissions. Indeed, even in the automobile sector, we are already using IoT, where the driver’s smartphone is used as a key and can open the vehicle’s doors as well as start the engine. No more need for a screen in the car. The phone displays the speed and the charge remaining. This is where mobility takes on its full meaning.

 

To read: Citroën’s Ami One: Electric inspired mobility