It’s that age-old question: what came first and where did everything begin?
Ok, it’s a somewhat tired analogy but in the case of Electric Vehicles (EV), the chicken and egg question seems fitting to describe a situation where vehicle manufacture and charging infrastructure are constantly battling against each other.
Without one, the other cannot thrive, therefore creating a strange state of limbo where both struggle to get fully established and grow.
Awareness of EVs and their benefits is certainly on the rise. From just a decade ago, when hybrid or fully electric cars were often derided as an ‘eco’ gimmick, we have certainly come on leaps and bounds in our acceptance of the EV as a sensible — and some would even say inevitable — choice for the future.
One in ten cars sold are EVs
A report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in November 2019 revealed that one in ten cars sold in the UK was electric or hybrid, with the number of battery-powered car sales tripling.
We know the public interest is there. The increasing sensitivity around environmental issues is undoubtedly fuelling consumer decisions in many markets, empowering them to make greener, more ecological and sustainable choices.
However, while the appetite for EVs is there, at only 10% of the market, some would argue there is still not enough justification to build the necessary infrastructure to support EVs on a large scale.
Range anxiety, i.e. the concern that EVs will run out of power before people can find a charging point, still remains one of the biggest barriers to EV sales. However, manufacturers are seemingly reluctant to take EV production large scale until sufficient infrastructure is in place.
And back to the chicken and egg debate we go.
The tech opportunity
The bigger picture, though, is that this is not just all about the manufacture of vehicles and development of charging equipment. There are so many technologies, companies and industries that can play a role in the EV story and also reap its rewards as the market continues to evolve.
For tech companies, there are opportunities to add value at every point of the driver experience. From charging point trackers such as zapmap.com to car sharing apps such as e-car club and Evezy, new ideas are emerging all the time to help propel the industry forward, generate consumer interest and, ultimately, increase sales.
For now, it’s still a bit of a watch and learn game in terms of how fast EV production will accelerate. But with social, economic and industry trends all nodding towards an electric takeover by 2050 at the latest, the time is definitely now for tech companies to participate in the EV revolution and join this thrilling race.