Blog Post

Insight: Is Electric Vehicle growth ready to accelerate?

By: Thomas Holst

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™

A tipping point is a juncture at which small changes are significant enough to cause larger, more important changes.  A current example is global transportation that pivots away from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles (EV).

The United States is the latest country to pass an identified EV tipping point: five percent of new car sales powered only by batteries (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Top 20 Countries for EV Sales as a Percent of Total Car Sales, 2022

Source: International Energy Administration’s Global EV Outlook 2022

If the US follows the 18 countries that preceded it in crossing the five percent tipping point, national EV sales could rapidly increase as EV sales impediments diminish.  Current US EV sales impediments include: 1) lack of a built-out EV charging network, 2) expensive EV sticker prices, and 3) lack of consumer awareness.

The five percent threshold is the level where these impediments give way.[i]   Recent changes illustrate how federal policies plus mass media exposure may accelerate EV growth by removing impediments.

  1. The Federal Highway Administration will spend $1.5 billion