Analysis: Expect Limitations to EV Implementation
Jan. 16, 2020—Cars.com recently released a report that predicts the top trends that will shape the next decade in the automotive industry.
One of the trends that is predicted as continuing in the coming decade is the affordability crisis based on the rising cost of all cars based on technology and the move to SUVs.
Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor of Cars.com, says while electric vehicles will continue to grow, they will not be mainstream in the decade. And, autonomous vehicles will not be able to exit the test phase that they're in.
EVs currently cost as much or more than conventional vehicles despite having limitations, and the state and federal incentives that could help offset the difference are on the wane rather than on the rise, which Wiesenfelder believes they’d need to be in order for EVs to become mainstream within a decade.
In addition, according to the Cars.com report, electric vehicle use is rising in urban centers as costs go down, but overall use in the country will continue to lag due to consistently low gas prices, lack of public infrastructure, the recent EPA/California ruling and pending trade wars.
"Consumers need a reason to buy EVs beyond the environmental benefit. Given that they have limitations, we argue that they’d need to be less expensive than conventional cars—not more—in order to attract enough consumers to become more mainstream," he says.
He says that OEMs need to look into whether the consumer wants the type of vehicle coming to the market and ask themselves whether the consumer will pay for it.
Wiesenfelder says he is often asked by consumers whether they should wait or buy now for autonomous cars. The question shows that consumers don't recognize how far affordable autonomy is from reality.
"It’s to these consumers that I say, 'Don’t wait.' They’d be waiting a long time," he says.