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I am a professional finance blogger and investor in the Lithium mining and battery manufacturer sector. My website, the Lithium Report provides the latest news, trends, and stories for this emerging industry that has much potential to ignite and electrify the world. We focus on providing a... More
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  • What would it take to accelerate the adoption of Electric Vehicles? 0 comments
    Jun 15, 2011 2:18 AM
    I was closely examining activity in China on how the accelerated activity in electric cars was going so far.  I would have thought that regardless of whatever happens, we can surely expect Chinese auto sales to take off, especially for Electric Vehicles in particular as the governmnet has been putting greater investment in these strategic industries in recent years.  Despite the best of intentions by the Chinese, there still seems to be resistance by the public in China to invest in Electric cars?  Why?

    The vehicle purchase price is still relatively higher compared to conventional vehicles.  How much higher?  could be at least one and a half to two times compared to the price of a regular car.  However, the Chinese government has already committed billions to subsidize the purchase of Electric cars.  In fact, some districts allow you to bypass the need to  obtain a permit if you’re going to purchase an electric car.  So this would make price less of an issue.  Perhaps there’s more than just price?

    What maybe more of an issue are the lack of charging stations. Despite plans to build the infrastructure, the work is still ongoing.  Citizens are afraid to run out of power without efficient access to charging stations.  If this is the case, perhaps it would be a very good idea to invest in producing electric vehicles that still have  a reserve tank of fuel, such as the Chevy Volt.  However, it is evident that governments in global markets are working very hard towards developing the charging stations and networks for the future.  You can imagine it takes much time and money to develop each piece of infrastructure.  You’ll see one example of a charging station run by Petrobras and using solar energy below in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    So with this resistance even in China, what would it take to accelerate the adoption rate in Electric vehicles?  Interestingly, I came across some stories in China whereby ideas have been brought out that governments would go as far as to hire celebrities and famous people to help endorse electric vehicles to consumers.  Other ideas include having dedicated bus lanes to be allowed to be used by electric vehicles.  In fact, that is also the case with bike lanes, whereby electric mopeds and e-bikes could also better utilize these same lanes.  The idea would be to show people in China that there is much reward and much to gain if adopting to electric vehicles at this early stage.

     

    So back to answer our original question, what would it take to accelerate the adoption of electric cars?  even in China?  How about this simple answer: it just requires…Time.  Specifically, a little time to allow companies to develop better battery technologies which deliver better range (which is already well in progress), time for consumers to go through an upcoming era of over $150  per barrel in the future, time for companies and governments to develop a half decent network of EV charging stations, and most importantly time to just allow consumers to evolve and decide to consider the idea of an electric vehicle that would benefit them more in the future.  Some things just require activity to play out over time.

     

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