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Going All in on All Electric 

Electric cable towers

A recent regulation was passed in California that will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles beginning in 2035, catapulting the state into embracing fully electric vehicles (EVs). The goal, of course, is to protect the environment with zero-emissions vehicles and be able to start to phase out fossil fuels on the road. It’s a big step, so what does the road ahead look like? Are we ready to switch to 100 percent electric vehicles? 

The EV timeline

The timeline of 2035 is very aggressive. Automakers will need to ramp up design and production of electric vehicles sooner than anticipated for a 100 percent switch. However, this was already somewhat in the works as President Biden set a goal for half of new car sales to be electric, fuel cell or hybrid by 2030. If this were to take place, about 60-70 percent of vehicles on the road could be electric by 2050. This would dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of the personal vehicle sector, though a lot more work to reduce emissions will need to be done in other transportation areas as well. 

Electric range

One of the biggest concerns people note when talking about the switch from gas to electric is range. Range anxiety is real, and while early adopters of all electric vehicles might have had difficulty getting around or taking road trips, many of today’s modern EVs have much more powerful batteries that facilitate greater range capabilities. Here are a few examples that compare gas-powered mpg and electric ranges: 

BMW 840i Gran Coupe: approximately 378 miles city
BMW i7 sedan: approximately 318 miles of range with a full charge 

Hyundai Tucson: estimated 343 miles city
Hyundai IONIQ 5: estimated 303 miles of range with a full charge 

KIA Seltos: estimated 330 miles city
KIA EV6: estimated 310 miles of range with a full charge 

In some cases we’re not too far off, and with continued improvements, by 2035 we might be able to put range anxiety to rest. 

Charging availability and stations

Both gas and electric vehicles need to be powered. That means stopping at the pump and filling the tank with gas or plugging in your vehicle at home/hitting up a power station. For most everyday driving, electric vehicle owners should be able to charge their vehicles at home at the end of the day. However, if you have a lot of driving to do like in the case of a road trip, you’ll need to stop at a charging station along the way. You’ve also probably seen some charging spots at shopping centers, which makes it easy to charge up while running errands or having a meal out. 

It seems like, at least in cities, there’s always a gas station nearby. We’ll need to do that for charging stations, too. Electrify America is already working to install fast-charging stations across the country. We’ll also need to up our grid capacity to support the charging of more EVs. It’s estimated that we’d need to add about a third more to our grid capacity to accommodate the additional charging vehicles. Of course, we will want this grid upgrade to be from sustainable energy sources, otherwise it won’t make sense to still be using fossil fuels to power electric vehicles.   

Charging speed

It doesn’t take long to fill up at the pump, and that’s what most people expect. With DC Fast Charging, some vehicles can get about 100 miles per ten minutes of charge. If you’re on a road trip, that might mean a 30-minute stop to get your vehicle back up to a full charge. Henry Lee, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, told The Harvard Gazette that, “Drivers will be willing to wait 10 to 15 minutes to charge their cars so they can drive 200 more miles. But if they have to wait much longer, they will not be happy.” It looks like one of the next big innovations needed to switch to 100 percent electric will be faster charging capabilities. 

Almost There

We still have a way to go before we’re ready to switch to 100 percent electric, but we’re also not too far away. Most makers have embraced the electric vehicle, we have extended ranges and the convenience to charge at home, which are big pluses. We still need to work on on charging station availability, upgrading the power grid and charging speed. It will be interesting to see the plans and innovations that take shape to meet California’s sustainability goal.  

Are you ready to make the switch to an EV now?

Connect with a sales associate at any of our Ontario Auto Center dealerships to learn more about available EV options.       

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