Electric vehicles used to be a fad for fantastically wealthy people that barely made a pin-prick on the car market. This was understandable when the odd Tesla on your road made you stare. Not any longer.
The above statistics are from the SMMT. In 2017 so far, 4% of all cars sold have been electric. While 4% is still small, the total sold is up almost 50% on the same time last year. And this exponential growth is expected to continue, which is why this small segment is turning the market upside down.
Take Tesla. Tesla has seen a huge uptick in its share price, such that it’s worth more than General Motors. That’s despite General Motors producing approximately 100 times as many cars, 20 times as much revenue, and $10bn profit, while Tesla keeps racking up losses.
Why? Clearly not because of what it does not, but because of what people expect it to do in the future. Electric vehicles clearly are the future, and despite the huge sums poured into R&D by the Detroit giants GM and Ford, investors clearly don’t believe they’ll catch up with Tesla in electric vehicles.
Which brings me on to a problem that we have in Camden: a complete lack of electric vehicle charging points. If electric vehicles are the future – and the market clearly thinks they are – and if they’ve already started to be purchased en masse – as the 50% year-on-year increase implies, then we need the infrastructure to deliver it.
Sadly, we don’t have that. I don’t know what the answer is, but unless we put in place the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, we will be left behind. Not only will air quality continue to decline, but local residents will be effectively barred from purchasing vehicles from a major market segment: reducing their choice and increasing prices they face. So from the perspective of both individual consumers and the whole of society, it’s vital to address this.
For more about my campaign to reduce air pollution, click here.