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Interest grows in electric vehicles, whether the US is ready for them remains a question

Electric Vehicles
Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 09:58:43-04

Interest in electric vehicles is quickly growing due to higher gas prices and experts said there are some things the industry needs to do to meet that demand.

A recent AAA survey found a quarter of Americans want their next vehicle to be fully electric. Sales of EVs increased 88% from 2020 to 2021.

Energy policy expert Jae Kim, an associate professor at the University of San Diego, said if we continue at that pace, the United States first needs to build out its charging infrastructure to include places like apartment buildings and workplaces.

"You need visibility, so you need ubiquitous charging station so at least it gives them peace of mind that OK, if I'm stranded, there's a charging station I can access,” Kim said. “I understand how to charge, I know how to use the equipment, I know the pricing structure, how it works, and I'm at ease I won't be stranded."

He said the US power grid also has to be able to handle increased loads at certain times of the day.

"You want people to charge during the day and public space, etc.,” he said. “But now you're going to have, you know, people charging at peak hours that they — 6 p.m., 5 p.m. — and how do you handle those extra loads now and they add up to something significant. Then if you're a grid operator, how do you set up the systems today [so] your system doesn't fail."

Kim said potential owners also need to educate themselves about EVs.

General Motors, one of more than a dozen brands selling EVs in the US, just launched EVLIVE.GM.COM. They provide information sessions you can book with an EV specialist.