Whether we like it or not, up until about 10 years ago the idea of owning and driving an electric vehicle was a source of ridicule for many people. There was a stigma surrounding electric vehicles amid suggestions that those owning EVs were in some way deluded and overly focused upon the environment. Thankfully this stigma has now disappeared although looking back it was a difficult period for the EV industry which was dismissed by politicians and manufacturers in equal measures.

Would you buy an electric car?

A number of surveys have been published offering a reflection on the thoughts and views of the general public. The vast majority of motorists questioned say they would consider buying an electric vehicle but up until lately the main issue was journey capacity. Commonly referred to as “range anxiety” this is the fear that batteries have insufficient charge leaving motorists/passengers high and dry miles from home.

If we look back a decade ago, the idea of “range anxiety” was a fair and honest argument against the introduction of electric cars. However, the issue today is very different with greater mileage per battery charge and a growing number of electric car charging stations. As a consequence, the number of people with any real argument against the purchase of an electric vehicle is reducing each year.

Can you distinguish an electric car from a petrol vehicle?

Such has been the massive progress with regards to electric car technology that for many people it is becoming more difficult to distinguish electric cars from their petrol counterparts. The most obvious difference is the “fuel cap” but aside from this there are very few if any real differences at first glance. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the historic stigma attached to electric vehicles is now diminishing? Perhaps people are more positive about EVs if they do not stand out at first glance?

The reality is that in many ways situation has turned full circle with some motorists considering electric vehicles as a positive addition to their transport options. It may take some time to convert the petrol car disciples but there is no doubt that owning an electric car today is more a badge of success as opposed to a badge of ridicule.

Money talks

While the stigma of owning and driving electric vehicle has disappeared, range anxiety is no longer an issue we then get down to the nitty-gritty, money. As we mentioned in one of our recent articles, governments around the world have invested billions of dollars into the industry via tax breaks and direct investment. At some point these subsidies will be reduced moving the industry to a situation where it will need to stand-alone going forward. In what could be referred to as the “chicken and egg” situation, we will need to see further government investment to push the industry into the mass market. Once the industry is accepted as a “mass-market” business then scales of economy will come into play, costs will reduce and there will be even greater investment in research and development.

The days when people laughed and joked at those who owned and drove electric cars have long gone. In many ways eco-friendly transport is seen as more of a badge of success as opposed to a badge of ridicule. Long may this continue!