The EV revolution is closer than it appears, with automakers rapidly developing a slew of new vehicles that will wow consumers. But anxiety around charging and range is likely to hold buyers back until private and public stakeholders ramp up infrastructure, according to panelists at an automotive forum Thursday.
Within a few short years, automakers and suppliers will improve battery technology, and range could eventually become a nonissue as ultrafast chargers add 500 miles worth of electrons in minutes. But current conditions are not yet ideal for broad electric vehicle ownership, said speakers at the Management Briefing Seminars.
"The way we look at that is if you are going to make the transition from internal combustion to EV, it comes without compromise," said Mark Hanchett, CEO of EV startup Atlis Motor Vehicles. Standing in the way is charge time, range, the impact of towing on EV driving distance, and charging infrastructure, he said.
"Overcoming these challenges and pushing things forward so there is no leap backwards and a massive leap forward is what's going to push things forward when we talk about transitioning from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles," Hanchett said.
Automakers do have a powerful tool to win consumers over — bold product that's right around the corner.
One example of that is GMC's coming Hummer EV pickup, said Tim Grewe, director of electrification strategy at General Motors.