The Future Of The Electric Car, Visualized

Consumers aren’t clamoring to buy electric cars, but that might change. This infographic explains why.

When was the last time you saw an electric car on the road? Chances are, not too recently—sales this year in the U.S. are projected to hit just 62,400 vehicles. That means U.S. government goals of putting 1,000,000 EVs on the road by 2015 are ambitious, to say the least. But why aren’t consumers buying? The infographic below, provided courtesy of VroomVroomVroom, explains.

EVs are an important part of a low-carbon future—that much is obvious. But as we can see above, sales are seriously lagging.

The problem isn’t any better in Europe, where EVs make up just .09% of the overall car market.

It’s not that governments aren’t investing cash—billions of dollars have been invested in better EV technology and vehicle subsidies.

Problem is, prices are still too high to make EVs mainstream, largely because of the cost of the lithium ion batteries that power the cars.

But if we’re lucky lithium-ion battery prices may drop in the coming years—or better, cheaper battery technologies will be released. If either of those things happen, we can expect the overall costs of EVs to drop as well, possibly increasing their popularity.

Check out the full infographic below.

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  • Hatallica

    When reviewing cost projections, the phrase "if we're lucky" is used.  Too often, this seems to be a part of the business plan for EV.
    Despite heavy investment (government and private), the available products are not attractive to most consumers.  There is a realistic market for HEV - delivery trucks, refuse trucks, buses, construction vehicles, forestry, etc.  The business case is strong in terms of return on investment for these.  Yet, my tax money is instead wasted on "if we're lucky" attempts to push an undesirable solution on consumers.

  • Sasa Marinic

    I'm afraid that EV's will not make it as substitution for our transportation needs. 

  • Rodger88

    On a clean grid, EVs are much cleaner than the numbers here would indicate. 

    On 100% hydro electric, EVs are 400 times cleaner than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles!  But this "clean grid" calculation only has them 4.48 times cleaner. 

    On 100% hydro electric, EVs will only produce .19 tons of CO2 over 200K miles of driving!  This graphic has EVs producing .66 metric tons PER YEAR! 

    These numbers for CO2 are way off.  Just how were they calculated? 

    My detailed research and calculations are here: 

    Includes best (100% Hydro), average, worst (100% coal), and weighted average scenarios.