On Fully Charged, we often turn to William Gibson’s ‘the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed’, as a saying that encapsulates the problem with the energy transition as a whole, and electric vehicles in particular.
Specifically, the perception of some that ‘if it’s not happening outside my window, it’s not happening at all.’
In modern day social media, words have been rendered almost meaningless, and to overturn outdated convictions, proof is our sole salvation.
It’s ten years since Nissan launched the first ‘mass-market EV’, and after a slow start, with no small thanks to Tesla, we are entering a second, decisive decade for electric vehicles.
The operative question is now no longer; ‘will electric cars overtake combustion engine cars?’, but ‘how quickly?’
Still, to our surprise, in the minds of some of those outside of the bubble we inhabit, there are numerous perceptions from ten years ago that persist, despite the evidence that EVs are simply superior technology.
With the UK’s ‘2030 phaseout’ announcement today, we know that on one hand this gives greater legitimacy to EVs, but on the other hand there will be disinformation and misinformation, lurking in the comments’ sections.
With that in mind, when you hear those negative comments, we want you to be able to firmly (yet politely) acquaint the naysayers with the truth.
And this is why, when they say ‘NO WAY!’, you should say ‘NORWAY!’
In Norway, ‘the future is here’, and the trends that we have seen there, are now being repeated in other European countries.
While as a result of local factors, it might take a little longer in the UK, USA or Australia there is absolutely no reason why the same trends won’t take place wherever you live.
That’s 20.9% of new cars sold without a plug, 18.3% as plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and an impressive 60.8% as pure electric vehicles (BEVs).
Similar trends are playing out with EV sales across Europe including in Iceland (41.1%), Sweden (27.9%) , Finland (16.6%), Netherlands (15.8%), Denmark (13.0%), Switzerland (11.8%), Portugal (11.5%) & Germany (10.0%).
Not only are we seeing steeper and steeper sales curves, but consistent themes are emerging, such as the accelerating predominance of pure electric vehicles (BEVs), as consumers vote for their preferred EVs.
So ask the naysayers, why would our country not simply follow the same trends?
In the UK, in spite of a pandemic, it is pure EVs that are seeing the most significant growth, in what has been a shrinking market.
October sales in the UK hit another high of 12.1% (6.6% BEVs, 5.5% PHEVs), with pure electric vehicle sales now outstripping plug-in hybrids by a 3:2 ratio in 2020 (from a 1:1 ratio in 2019).
Notably, as you can see from the graph above, Norway first reached the levels that the UK is at now, around 7 years ago.
Add to this the accelerating nature of EV adoption, the fact carmakers now need to advertise them in earnest and plummeting residuals on petrol self-charging hybrids, it’s my belief that by 2030 UK consumers will only want EVs.
There is no reason to believe that the UK will not follow suit, and what’s more it really needs to.
After all, if you are an electric carmaker or a battery manufacturer, where are you going to set up shop? Closest to the source of the strongest demand of course.
And with those makers, come jobs and opportunities. Without them, we are in real danger of rendering ourselves utterly uncompetitive against East Asia, Europe and the USA
To return to Norway for a moment, it is also important to show the naysayers that the switch for Norwegian consumers has been relatively seamless.
Despite the surge in EVs there, there are no issues with the electricity grid, renewable energy generation and storage is on the rise, and a battery recycling industry is emerging too.
And what’s more when people switch, and experience the truth about EVs – not the fear, uncertainty and doubt peddled by those who benefit from the perpetuation of the combustion engine – they stay switched.
Why is that I wonder?
So, keep sending your friends and family to Fully Charged! Let’s make sure the future is ‘evenly distributed’, and everyone (who needs one) can enjoy the enormous benefits of an electric car.
DAN CAESAR, MD
Fully Charged Show