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Sub-2.0L Engines and Electric Vehicles – The Great Divide in 2020

Electric Vehicle Sales Discounted Heavily in This Study?
Electric Vehicle Sales Discounted Heavily in This Study?

According to one study, the next ten years are simply going to widen the divide between electric vehicles and vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine (ICE).

I’ll bet a study like this really puts a crimp in the side of automakers staking their future on the production and sale of electric vehicles, as well as government entities who’ve put millions of dollars into electric vehicles to encourage their adoption. In fact, US President Obama made the claim that, by 2015, the US would become the first country with 1,000,000 electric vehicles on the road.

Clearly, we’ve got a lot of acceleration in electric vehicle adoption if we’re going to make it to that goal. Well, let’s not fool ourselves because, unless we give them away, we’re probably not going to hit that number. Still, that’s alright, because electric vehicle sales are increasing rapidly enough to prove that the naysayers aren’t quite correct. Here, at The Green Optimistic, we fully believe that electric vehicles are the way forward for the transportation industry, but it is kind of disappointing to see studies that show they won’t be adopted that much.

According to a study completed by Wards Auto, electric vehicles currently occupy about 3% of the market, a little bit less than the number of vehicles powered by a 5.0ℓ ICE. This is vastly different from the number of ICE-powered vehicles on the road with engines between 1.0ℓ and 1.9ℓ, which occupy about 49% of the market. In the next seven years, by 2020, that situation isn’t going to change much. The sub-2.0ℓ ICE-powered vehicles are expected to top 52%, while electric vehicles will top only 3.5%?

I agree that engine technology has improved to the point they offer the same fuel economy as hybrids, with all the performance characteristics of their fat cousins, but I believe that electric vehicles offer so much more in both fuel economy and performance. Could it be that the limitations of electric vehicles will stifle their growth that much? Personally, I think the study underestimates the appeal of electric vehicles.

Image © WardsAuto

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