Sustainability is a topic of considerable interest. And manufacturers in various industries are aware of this as well. Increasing numbers of manufacturers are participating in sustainable programs such as ESG, packaging recycling, and zero-emissions production. As the world moves down the sustainability lane, electric vehicles or EVs become increasingly potent. Electric mobility transition is a viable global plan for decarbonizing the transportation sector. The concept of EVs is not new. Electric automobiles were introduced more than a century ago but are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to many factors that contributed to their initial success.
In the early 20th century, inventors in Hungary, the Netherlands, and the United States — including a Vermont blacksmith — experimented with the idea of a battery-powered vehicle and produced the first small-scale electric vehicle. And while British inventor Robert Anderson created the first primitive electric carriage around the same period, French and English inventors did not make the first viable electric cars until the second half of the 19th century. Around 1890, William Morrison, a Des Moines, Iowa-based scientist, introduced the first practical electric automobile to the American public. His powered six-passenger vehicle with a top speed of 14 miles per hour was little more than a wagon, but it sparked interest in electric automobiles. However, Henry Ford’s mass-produced Model T delivered the electric vehicle a fatal blow. The Model T, introduced in 1908, made gasoline-powered automobiles accessible and affordable. In the same year, Charles Kettering invented the electric starter, removing the need for a hand crank and increasing gasoline-powered vehicles’ sales. And more innovations of this nature contributed to the demise of the electric vehicle. The internal combustion engine has dominated the roads for over a century, but the question remains: for how much longer?
Why the Sudden Upsurge in EVs?
As the impacts of hydrocarbons were more widely acknowledged, global interest in EVs resurfaced. Petroleum is a complex mixture of compounds with varied toxicity, all of which are connected to various human diseases ranging from lung disease to cancer. Spilled petroleum is also an instantaneous marine life killer. Once the full impacts of hydrocarbon fuels were understood, many activists and manufacturers sought an alternative, and the EV provided them with the required answers. The fact that electric cars don’t release any harmful emissions during operation is a significant benefit. There is no combustion process, no fuel is burned, and no CO2 emissions. Even though concern for the environment remains the primary reason for acquiring an EV, there are numerous more reasons why EVs are rising.
It can be very well stated that Tesla has contributed mainly to refining the electric vehicle market. Tesla established its presence in the market with a novel strategy. Instead of attempting to design a reasonably inexpensive vehicle that could be mass-produced and marketed, the company focused on building an appealing vehicle that would stimulate demand for electric cars. The corporation has been the undisputed leader in the market for electric vehicles for many years. In 2021, Tesla ranked as the world’s most valuable automobile brand and among the top fifteen most valuable brands across all industries. Tesla became the world’s fastest-growing brand in 2021, with a growth rate of almost 157%.
As technology and interest have grown, the electric vehicle landscape has altered swiftly, and in the coming years, more EVs will take to the roads, seas, and skies. Since 2016, annual sales of electric vehicles in the United States have increased by more than 40%. By 2035, the primary vehicle markets will be exclusively electric, delivering a glimpse of a sustainable future and substantial economic potential.
What the Future Holds?
Though it’s difficult to predict precisely how the future will unfold for electric vehicles, it’s apparent they have a great deal of potential for fostering a more sustainable future. For instance, if all light-duty cars in the United States were converted to hybrids or plug-in electric vehicles with the existing technology mix, it would be conceivable to reduce reliance on foreign oil by 30% to 60% while reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector by up to 20%. Numerous nations appear to be basing their strategies on the possibility that electric vehicles will be the future.
Furthermore, by 2040, the global EV stock is projected to increase to 323 million, with annual sales of 45 million. The EV industry is being supported by governments worldwide through subsidies and regulations, and customers are demanding low-emission commuting over the fossil fuel-powered vehicles that are destroying the environment. Whether or not EVs are the future of transportation and mobility is still ambiguous and unanswered. While fresh materials may be employed in battery chemistry and advancements will continue to be made, the phenomenon is irreversible.