Auto Service World
News   April 11, 2024   by Adam Malik

The biggest challenge for EVs is…

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No matter the product, something that forces people to change their behaviours will be the toughest sell to the public, according to an automotive leader.

Leila Afas, director of global public policy at Toyota Motor North America, told attendees of a recent automotive aftermarket conference that it takes time — a long time — for something to have mass adoption. So long as people are tied to one way of doing things, it’s difficult to break them of that habit and learn something new.

She pointed to her company, which came out with the Prius, the first hybrid vehicle. And in 1997, they thought, within 20-30 years that half of vehicle sales would be hybrid

“Because [a hybrid vehicle] doesn’t require a change in human behaviour,” she explained as the rationale during the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Global Summit this year in Florida. “You still plug in, you still refuel with petrol, you don’t have to charge. It’s still the same behaviour. In fact, it’s more fuel efficient — those things.”

Hybrids, meanwhile, were 10.7 per cent of all new vehicle registrations in 2023 in Canada. Plug-in hybrids grew to 2.8 per cent of new vehicle registration sin 2023, up from 1.9 per cent in 2022. Quebec announced in its budget announcement for this year that it would remove incentives for BEVs and PHEVs by 2027.

Now compare that to battery electric vehicles that require a much greater change in human behaviour, Afas said. People are charging their vehicles, they need access to infrastructure, new infrastructure needs to be built, there’s range anxiety, relying on a battery and so on.

“So, it’s weird,” she said.

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1 Comment » for The biggest challenge for EVs is…
  1. Bob Ward says:

    With all the push towards electric vehicles, why is the more serious issue about the charging infrastructure not being addressed? It will take longer to deal with the charging issues than the mandated target date for forcing new cars to be all EVs. Plain and simple in high density housing areas and rural areas there is not enough electricity.

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