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Connected Driving 5 min read

EV ambitions: what electric vehicle adoption looks like now

A woman at an EV charge point in the US

Ambitious targets for EV adoption worldwide are making the future of transportation look promisingly electric, but will it last?

Over the past two decades, we've witnessed a significant shift in the automotive landscape with the emergence and growth of electric vehicles (EVs). 

By 2030, one in seven vehicles on the road is expected to be an EV, and later-adopting countries are experiencing rapid growth in EV sales. But what we consider the dawn of EVs might not be entirely accurate. Because the rise of electric vehicles is not a recent phenomenon - it’s a comeback story.

Which begs the question: why is global EV adoption gaining momentum only now?

USA America EV Charging Station Charge Point Man

Paving the way

William Morrison, an American chemist and inventor, created the first successful EV in the late 19th century. And yet, despite their early introduction, EVs did not initially gain traction. This was mostly due to challenges such as limited range, slow speeds and high production costs. Cue the discovery of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars around 1860, and EVs became nothing more than a brief story of potential that didn’t survive the test drive.

The modern narrative around electric vehicles is very different. EVs are now witnessing increased adoption rates worldwide, with the global market expanding and regions like China, Europe and the US taking charge.

Today, electric vehicles are much more sophisticated than their ancestors, leveraging technology in every part. Advancements in battery technology, increased environmental consciousness and supportive government policies are a big factor in the sudden rise in EV adoption.

For instance, lithium-air batteries represent an innovative EV-powering technology that can potentially offer a higher energy density than their more conventional lithium-ion counterparts, extending the mileage EVs can run on a single charge. But the biggest benefit it could introduce is mitigating one of the biggest hurdles in broad EV adoption - range anxiety.

But apart from extending their range, lithium-air batteries are also supporting the road to more sustainable EV batteries through recycling, which makes these cars an even more attractive mobility solution for consumers.

Defeating range anxiety

Running on fumes

Despite the optimistic outlook, there are still significant barriers, namely range anxiety, that are slowing down the adoption of EVs. Affected by many factors, such as extreme heat and cold, it represents one of the biggest obstacles to widespread EV adoption.

Challenges pile on. Even if it reaches the charging station in time, your EV might get there only to find more blockers. Availability and accessibility of charging stations, inadequate chargers or complicated payment systems are all factors that made charging anxiety another term that worries the electric car industry. And for a good reason. In the US alone, the lack of charging infrastructure accounts for one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption.

Help is on the way. To tackle EV charging anxiety, the European Union is currently working on increasing the number of public charging points to meet the growing demand. Other substantial investments across the globe also aim to expand the EV charging infrastructure.

A woman charges her electric vehicle at a charging point.

Greening the commute

Another benefit of cars that run on electricity is the reduced impact on the environment. Companies are turning to EVs for their fleets due to potential lower operating costs and a desire to meet sustainability targets. Fleets of electric buses and taxis are also being introduced in cities around the world, reducing emissions and improving air quality.

The pursuit of more sustainable mobility solutions goes beyond passenger cars. Electric trucks are becoming increasingly popular in the USA, with several manufacturers announcing plans to produce electric versions of their popular models.

Working smarter

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another important driver of accelerated EV adoption, optimizing charging station locations, managing energy distribution and improving battery performance. AI can even reduce range anxiety by giving drivers real-time information on their vehicle's battery status and the nearest charging stations. And if that’s not enough, it can also help manage the load on the grid, preventing power outages due to high demand from EV charging. 

No turning back

The long journey of EVs from a niche aspiration in the late 19th century to one of the most exciting things that came out of the automotive industry is an inspiring one. Despite the challenges, the future of EVs looks promising, with continuous technological advancements, policy support and growing consumer awareness. EV adoption will only continue to rise, making the future of mobility a shade greener at every step. 

Maja Stefanovic

Maja Stefanovic

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