April 22, 2024

It’s been a decade since the first Tesla EV made its commercial debut and the electrification of American automotive society began in earnest. Acceptance at the newfangled technology was slow at first but, over the past ten years as battery capacities have grown and range anxieties have shrunk, electric vehicles have become a daily sight in most parts of the country. Doesn’t hurt that virtually every notable automaker on the planet has jumped on the electric bandwagon with sizable investments in battery and production technologies as well as pledges to electrify their lineups within a decade or so.

Not even recent years’ production slowdowns and supply chain disruptions brought on by the COVID pandemic managed to stall the industry’s momentum. The International Energy Agency in January reported that EVs had managed to triple their market share between 2019 and 2021 with 6.6 million units being sold globally last year. That’s not to discount the crippling impacts of the chip shortage, which saw fleets of nearly-finished electrified vehicles parked and idled as they awaited necessary components. Or in Tesla’s case, simply sold without the needed part — oh calm down, it’s just the steering column, there’s nothing critical in there, anyway that’s what autopilot is for, right?

2022 has eliminated any lingering doubts about whether EVs are here to stay (hint: they are). “So far in 2022, global EV sales are up 70 percent, or around 2 million units,” from 2021’s figures, according to Morgan Stanley. It is expecting a further 22 percent increase — around another 1.8 million units — in 2023. China’s BYD set monthly EV sales records throughout the year. Domestically, an Experian study released in October noted more than 600,000 new EV registrations through the first ten months of 2022, a 60 percent year-over-year jump. EVs may not be quite as ruggedized as their hybrid cousins, but who cares about that when you’ve got Ken “Let’s See If I Can Barrel Roll This Car” Block blowing the doors off of the Vegas Strip in an 800V Audi S1 Hoonitron? Or have VW tickling the American public’s deep seated nostalgia with a reimagined Hippy Wagon for the 21st century? Even Sony is getting into the EV game. EVs are no longer niche, they’ve become an indelible part of the culture.

·Senior Editor
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