Upon entering an electric vehicle (EV) briefing at the 2022 Washington, D.C. Auto Show, a full-size electric-powered Metro bus served as the first vehicle on display followed by an informative briefing about the latest trend in personal automobiles.
Tom Stricker, group vice president for sustainability and regulatory affairs at Toyota Motors North America, reviewed how things have rapidly changed in the field of electric vehicles.
“In 2018, Toyota announced we were aiming at 50 percent of our new vehicle fleet globally by 2030 and one million of those would be battery electric vehicles. That has now changed,” Stricker said.
He continued, explaining how COVID-19 along with supply chain challenges and shortages of operational chips have impacted the industry. Still, these issues have not stopped 2021 sales from doubling among battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars.
And with the recent surge in gas prices and increased concerns about carbon emissions and global warming, more consumers have begun to take a serious look at EVs.
EV ADVANCEMENT MEETS PUBLIC POLICY
In 2020, electric vehicles saw a 41 percent increase in global sales. Almost every major manufacturer produces at least one form of an electric model. Government leaders and political figures provide more reasons to go electric including tax credits. Additional incentives can be found with President Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
Another speaker, White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy, expressed confidence that tax credits for electric cars would survive in a reworked Build Back Better climate and social spending bill.
“I’m not seeing any dispute about the need to continue to make sure that these technologies are affordable and accessible to everyone,” said McCarthy, who added she’s optimistic about a growing market for EVs.
“The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in our country and a major contributor to poor air quality,” she said. “EVs just don’t help us reach our air quality goals. When you drive one of these things, you want one.”
WHAT IS AN EV?
Charging an EV correlates to the type of vehicle one owns. The three categories of EVs, which include hybrid-electrics (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery electrics (BEVs), have recently entered the mainstream automobile market at an accelerated rate.
And an EV can be found to fit almost any taste. In a separate Auto Show pavilion, visitors experienced a range of EVs. Options ranged from luxury brands like the 2022 Karma GS6, 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid and McLaren’s Artura, to well-known brand names like Ford Mustang Mach-E, 2023 Subaru Soltera and Toyota BZ4X which would be unveiled at the Auto Show.
Also on display at the Auto Show, there’s Hyundai’s 2022 Tucson Hybrid, ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report in the hybrid and electric SUV class.
KEEPING UP WITH EV MARKET
Supporting EV sales growth in EV requires investments that yield an increase in electric chargers. Franchised auto dealers report their willingness to spend $3 billion installing electric chargers, purchasing electric equipment, parts and tools and investing in training sales and service staff.
“Auto dealers are not just all in. We are essential to the widespread adoption among mainstream consumers,” said Mike Stanton, president and CEO of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
EVs have moved beyond something for the future. They’re now a part of our lives. Educating consumers counts as the road to success in achieving a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere according to McCarthy.
“We have the opportunity of a lifetime right now. You realize how fun [EVs] are and are less expensive to make,” said McCarthy about consumer EVs. “We know they give our families and children a chance to live healthier. There is no doubt in my mind that the future of transportation is electric.”
The Washington, D.C. Auto Show continues at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center until Jan. 30. For more information, go to https://www.washingtonautoshow.com