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Declining EV Sales


California’s goals to ban the sales of gasoline vehicles by 2035 are not on track to succeed. The electric vehicle sales dropped significantly in the last half of 2023, raising questions about the state’s ability to phase out gas-powered cars. In the last few years, electric vehicles have taken off in the consumer market; however, there has been some recent public discourse about sales, with claims that the industry is declining. 


A reason for the decline in EV sales is the high interest rates on combustion counterparts, often accumulating up to 30% before incentives and credits are factored into the sale. Another reason for this decline is because of how different EVs are to pure combustion vehicles. Consumers don’t understand the nuances between the two powertrains — especially because the added initial cost of an EV pays for itself with a much longer (and less expensive) service life. There are also concerns about Range, the average driving rate per day has increased over the years, and people are concerned about the availability of electric charging ports to recharge their car, unlike the wide availability of gasoline everywhere. For instance, a road trip in an EV requires drivers to add additional time to their journey for charging (to 80 percent charge) which typically requires 20-30 minutes per session, so there is always charge anxiety as of now.


Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) typically use less fuel than similar conventional ones because they employ electrical drive technologies to boost vehicle efficiency through regenerative braking—recapturing energy otherwise lost during braking. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), are both capable of being powered solely by electricity which is produced in the United States from natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, wind energy, hydropower, and solar energy. All of these, however, come with downsides that may not make the vehicles worth it.


Let’s take a road trip in an EV. Getting in, the car is charged, after waiting for two entire days (generally, level 1 chargers take 40-50 hours to charge from empty to 80%) while filling a car with gas would take only 5. After a long time the car is finally able to start. If the trip is to somewhere less urbanized, the chances of getting stranded with no electric ports are higher. Charge anxiety added, that this once again limits where people can take their cars, making destinations very few. With its downsides on one side, and the potential for a better environment on another, in conclusion, considering the already declined state of EV sales, how would it pave the way for a greener future? 

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Zain Haseeb
Zain Haseeb, Writer

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