While the US still lags behind Europe and Asia, the total market share of electric vehicles (EVs) surpassed 6.7% in the first half of 2022—an increase of 4.9% since 2019—which means more than 1.7 million EVs now operate in the US. This impressive growth has been driven by more investment and commitment from the Biden administration, including its ambition to make 50% of all new cars EV by 2030.
In fact, over the last two years, incentives from the White House have been game changing for the roll out of EVs and charging infrastructure. This has included state-level adoption of credit programmes, increasing electrification commitments from major US OEMs, and tougher emissions standards.
Encouragingly, US consumers and commercial fleets are increasingly embracing electrification. With the total cost of ownership (TCO) now proven to favour EVs, vehicle owners of all shapes and sizes are making the choice to save money and reduce emissions. However, for the transition to continue at pace, it is important that car buyers, fleets, and governments do not lose momentum. So what is going to be significant over the next 12 months?
Despite increasing inflationary pressures, we expect to see supportive policies at national, state and regional levels throughout 2023, not only in the US but also Canada and Mexico, which are making meaningful policy moves in parallel to the US. In terms of vehicle availability, the lighter the duty, the greater the availability of vehicles in 2023. We will see a number of new models enter the market, enabling fleet managers to transition to last mile and return-to-home EVs in greater numbers. Fleets are now ordering vans and trucks in record commitments as well.
The e-bus sector is another area we expect to see impressive growth next year, in particular electric city and school buses. In the UK, high upfront investment costs are proving a barrier to large-scale e-bus transition; however, the US has benefited from significant government financing programmes and adoption is well underway.
More than 1.7 million EVs now operate in the US
For charging infrastructure, we believe the private sector will increasingly pay attention to cues from the public sector, such as procurement incentives, and the pace of transition will quicken. The significant price advantage over diesel and gasoline is driving these decisions.
Despite growth however, there are still barriers. The global supply chain issues experienced in 2022 as a result of the pandemic and war in Ukraine mean that fleet managers still face a backorder on vehicles, which will continue throughout 2023. Secondly, the infancy of the EV market in the US means there is still a lack of understanding and experience in scaled EV infrastructure. The industry needs to work together to give drivers the confidence they will be able to charge their vehicles, and educate fleet managers on how to build and manage reliable infrastructure that allows them to transition to electric while benefiting their bottom line.
Overall, the US is certainly poised to continue electrification at pace in 2023.
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Automotive World Ltd.
Charlie Jardine is Chief Executive of EO Charging
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