One of President Joe Biden‘s promises in his first tenure in office is revolutionizing the transport sector to include more electrified vehicles. It is a good move backed by automakers and policymakers. However, there is one person who is not yet convinced; the average consumer. Average users hesitate to ditch gasoline vehicles for EVs citing high buying price, inadequate charging stations, and the time taken to charge an electric vehicle to full charge.
Biden has promised to address these worries during his tenure, which would see EV use rise from the current two percent. On Wednesday, March 31, Biden’s administration unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to curb global warming. $174 billion of the infrastructure plan is dedicated to the EV industry to convince the American consumer to switch their internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle with a battery-powered one.
The Democrat’s head planned to change the minds of undecided consumers by lowering the costs of new EVs. The low prices will result from the government’s discounts and incentives to businesses and auto dealers. Biden also seeks to address the indecision by building about 500,000 charging stations across the United States. Although there is much to be done to fully address the anxiety among EV buyers, expanding the charging network is one way to convince consumers that it is a good transport option.
“We find ourselves at a unique moment here where most American businesses and many states are looking toward a decarbonized future, but recognize there is a big lift on the infrastructure side,” noted Bob Perciasepe, the head of Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “This investment alone obviously won’t solve the climate problem or fix all of the infrastructures in the United States, but it will be a huge boost,” added Perciasepe.
Automakers are on board with the changes taking place in the transport sector, and most of them have plans to go all-electric in the next decade or two. But they also admit the transformation will take more than just government policies. “It will require a sustained, holistic approach with a broad range of legislative and regulatory policies rooted in economic, social, environmental, and cultural realities,” said a letter addressed to Biden by a group representing manufacturers, suppliers, and automotive workers.
Reducing the cost of EVs will go a long way in improving the uptake by users. EVs are costly due to the cost of producing the battery. But with recent developments in making batteries using alternative raw materials, the cost of battery-powered cars will go down. Another worry, charging, will be addressed by “getting chargers into places where people only have on-street parking,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights. China has used the same approach to avail charging infrastructure to all users, making it the leader in using EVs. “It is, famously, one of the ways that China has become the No. 1 country in EVs on most dimensions,” said John Paul MacDuffie, Management Professor at Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania.