I was honored to be asked to sit on a panel to present my thoughts on “the Future of Parking” at the annual SWPTA meeting in Las Vegas. The discussion turned towards EVs and their impact on the industry. An audience member asked just how many in the room (over 200 people) actually owned and EV. The answer was less than 10. Then it was asked how many actually would purchase and EV. Less than a dozen raised their hands.
Keep in mind that that was a group of senior people in municipal parking, plus a large number of vendors who provide software and equipment to the industry. I was surprised that less than 10 percent had their eyes on an EV.
If we assume that those 200 people were a good cross section of the car buying public, how can the EV industry hope to succeed with only about 10 percent of the market really that interested in EVs.
I think what is happening is that the government has ‘decided’ that EVs are great and we should all drive them. However the vast majority of the marketplace isn’t there yet. The auto industry and the charging industry is receiving subsidies to keep their interest up in EV, but the technology and market forces aren’t ready.
So what has gone wrong? We are in a situation where we are attempting to force a product on the market more quickly that the market is ready to receive it. In doing so, we (at least the government) has pushed the technology beyond its means. Non technical people are making technical decisions, and we are left literally freezing in the dark.
It would make a lot more sense to let the marketplace handle the EV situation. Move slowly, allow the infrastructure to be built to handle it, allow the battery technology to keep up, and let the EV truly replace the internal combustion engine vehicles feature for feature. It can happen, probably will happen. Just not in eight years per the laws passed in California.