The electric and hybrid car industry has been burgeoning for years, helped by government subsidies recently ended by the Trump administration. But after many years of advancements, not to mention the federal government's help, these electric cars still aren't catching on with most of the driving public. The industry itself recently acknowledged that major improvements to the lithium-ion batteries that power battery electric vehicles (BEV) are necessary if these cars are to ever make a serious dent in the market against gasoline-powered vehicles.
KTRH Car Pro Jerry Reynolds says electric vehicle technology simply isn't far enough along yet to be fully competitive in the auto market. "Like with cell phones, I think they've got to get better, smaller and lighter," he says.
In particular, lack of driving range for battery-powered vehicles remains a major issue. "Right now, you've got to live and work pretty close together if you're going to make an electric car be a viable option for you," says Reynolds. "And they're going to have to make the batteries lighter, because the weight of the car is a big thing, and they're going to have to make them smaller because today, even with some hybrids you see the battery pack taking up a lot of room."
Even if the industry can make batteries smaller, lighter, and with higher capacity for longer driving distance, there is still the issue of affordability. "One thing people don't take into consideration many times, is the cost of the charger and the cost of charging the car every day, if you're in a position where you have to charge it every day, which is a good idea," says Reynolds. "You've got to try to put a dollar amount on gas prices versus charging the electric car, and the increased cost of the electric car."