Background- Ernst & Young recently held various roundtables around the world focused on electric vehicle (EVs) adoption. The takeaway: EVs are ramping, but before any tipping point is reached a lot of collaboration and technology milestones need to be reached.• 2020 will see EVs hit the mainstream.
Factors• Market forces, including government support, the enabling infrastructure, customer attitudes and the EV’s value proposition, will determine the type of customer, as well as the timing and trajectory of EV sales• Batteries are critical to the EV equation. What happens when a battery dies? Will customers fork over high four-figure to five-figure dollar sums to replace batteries? Will batteries lose their staying power over time just like they do in your laptop?
10 steps that are needed for broad EV adoption.• Players need to invest in systems and infrastructure for EVs. Think smart grids. On the consumer front, there may also be some upgrades. Consumer Reports noted that you’ll need 220 volt outlets in your home to get a proper charge.• Avoid showstoppers and make the transition seamless for the consumers. We’ll get a feel for this one as all those early adopters get EVs next year.
• Interests must be aligned at all parts of the EV chain.• Government needs to stay engaged. The government needs to take a roll in development, funding, standards and policies to drive EV adoption.• Standards are needed to encourage economies of scale.• Batteries need to improve on the safety, pricing and performance fronts.
• Delight EV owners. Ernst & Young argued that word of mouth will be critical to drive EV adoption.• Cultivate first movers. That word of mouth marketing will come from business and government fleets as well as early adopter consumers.• Find new business models. EVs will require a redesign of how vehicles are built, sold and serviced.• Collaboration is key between government, industry and academia.