2022 Could Be a Critical Year for EV

Industry advances could propel EVs to the mainstream, but carmakers and parts suppliers could be threatened.

February 09, 2022

New Electric Vehicle Charger

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is on the rise, with EV sales rising 88% year over year in 2021, and this year could be a critical one for battery-operated vehicles, reports the New York Times. EV demand has many manufacturers sold out of their models, but gas-powered carmakers and part suppliers are threatened if slow to adopt.

EV pickup trucks, such as Ford’s all-electric F-150 and GM’s electric Silverado, will put EVs in the mainstream, says the Times, and they represent the biggest upheaval in the auto industry since Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908. Ford had to double its production of the EV F-150 to meet demand.

Half of a trillion dollars could be invested into the EV industry, according to investment firm Wedbush Securities, and there are more than a dozen EV and battery factories planned for the U.S.

However, the Times reports that gas-powered car part makers could go out of business, such as makers of mufflers and fuel injection systems. There are close to three million Americans that are employed by the motor vehicle industry, and industry experts say that EVs require less manpower to make because the cars have less components.

The Times reports that there are around 50,000 public charging stations in the U.S., and the infrastructure bill that Congress passed in November includes $7.5 billion for 500,000 new chargers.

Last year, the Biden Administration released details of its plan to build an EV charging infrastructure. Last Friday, NACS filed comments with the Federal Highway Administration on its upcoming guidelines for this alternative fueling infrastructure.

Yesterday, President Biden touted an Australian EV charger company for agreeing to build a manufacturing facility in Tennessee, saying the plant will "have a ripple effect" far beyond the state. The White House and the company, Tritium, says that the new plant will produce up to 30,000 electric vehicle chargers per year. Biden also noted that his administration will announce its state-by-state allocation for $5 billion in funding for electric vehicle chargers this week.

Although charging is a major hurdle to overcome, EVs are becoming more appealing to consumers for their cost-savings benefits, as U.S. consumers deal with record high inflation and dramatic price increases. The Times used the example of the EV Tesla Model 3 and gas-powered Jaguar XF P250—both are the same sticker cost, but after five years, the Tesla owner pays $16,000 less, according to calculations by Kelley Blue Book.

However, gas cars still dominate sales as they can be much cheaper initially and overall, but “as battery power takes market share, conventional models will benefit less from the cost savings that come from stamping out the same vehicle hundreds of thousands of times,” says the Times.

A recent Convenience Matters podcast episode discusses how EVs are the future, and another episode explains how convenience retailers can attract and retain EV customers. A free NACS webinar helps retailers understand how EVs and environmentally conscious consumers will affect your business.

At this year’s NACS Show, we held three education sessions that focused on the opportunity that EVs bring to retailers. Receive six-month access to this primer on electric vehicles for $49.

Read more about electricity demand charges and what they mean for retailers’ ability to turn a profit from EV charging in the September issue of NACS Magazine.