Electric vehicles have proven to be a successful segment in the auto market, consistently eating into the margins of traditional gas powered vehicles, but after this past its become increasingly clear that EVs are facing a serious problem when it comes to supply and demand. Most notably demand has remained at an all time time, yet supply has lagged behind.
The biggest problem facing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is that for some time traditional auto makers have lagged far behind. To put that is perspective the two largest EV makers in the world were both started roughly 20 years ago Tesla (2003) and BYD (1995). These two relatively young companies have dominated the EV market and it doesn't appear that is going to change any time soon.
There is Proven Demand
While it can be said that there just isn't enough demand for every auto maker to jump into the EV market, that claim falls flat with even the most minimal research. Look at the Hyundai Kona, the first low-cost long range CUEV (Crossover utility electric vehicle), which has only just released and is facing serious supply issues already. The original plan was to begin selling in California only and then expand to other various markets in the US. However, in June the Kona had completely sold out in California.
While this seems like great news, it actually highlights a massive problem.
While this seems like great news, it actually highlights a massive problem. Car makers still don't fully understand the demand that EVs generate, nor do they fully grasp what the market actually wants. Look at the much touted Chevy Bolt, a great vehicle in its own right that has yet to garner the large following that its long range rivals have built. This can mostly be attributed to two factors, one it went up against the media darling that is the Model 3 and two its a vehicle whose styling would do well in Europe or Asia but for the US market doesn't necessarily hit all the right marks, despite being a seriously great vehicle.
Too many promises, not enough action
Another problem facing the industry is the number of promises coming from car makers to electrify their entire fleet or build multiple new all electric lines in coming years. These bold claims are great for grabbing headlines and building goodwill against the rampant demand that EVs currently have. However, for all these promises surprisingly little action has actually taken place.
In spite of all of this Tesla continues to show just how much demand exists for EVs with the Model 3 currently lapping the competition. Imagine if other auto makers could replicate that same success. We would begin to see an EV market closer to 10% of new vehicle sales and a US EV market that could rival that of China. Instead we receive empty promises that the EVs are coming.
Car makers are not alone, charging companies, utilities, builders, and more have made claims about growing the EV market through access to charging yet again the problem boils down to a very simple fact that growing this industry requires patience and investment. Slow and steady growth should be the mantra, after all it took Tesla nearly 10 years to actually produce a family vehicle and its taken them the better part of the next decade to get to a point of mass production. The point is that building EVs is hard and shouldn't be taken lightly, but it seems everyone needs to do a better job of building up supply to meet demand.