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Topics: specialty risk
Consumer perception toward electric vehicles is evolving as availability and technology continues to improve. Consumers are learning more about EV technology, which is leading to more EV sales. In fact, in 2021, EV sales totaled 487,560 units, an 89% increase over 2020’s 257,872 units. In 2021, EV investment in the U.S. increased by 88% to $35 billion. However, consumers still have concerns about electric vehicles, but the challenges are being met with new technology and some help from the U.S. infrastructure legislation. The main concerns consumers have regarding electric vehicles include: Electric car battery driving range BEV ranges are not as limited as they were in the past. Just less than a decade ago, an EV battery only had a range of 100 or less. But today, manufacturers listed above are releasing new electric vehicle models that can go way over 300 miles on a charge. Lack of electric vehicle charging stations
There are three categories of EV chargers: Level 1 (110-V outlet), Level 2 (240-V outlet), and DC fast chargers (480-V outlet). Home charging is the most convenient way to power an EV. Currently, the U.S. has 43,000 public EV charging stations and around 120,000 charging ports. However, President Biden has set a goal of installing 500,000 public charging stations by 2030. Electric car costs Compared to an internal combustion engine car, Electric vehicles can be more expensive due to the additional cost of a home charger, commercial charging, and the time it takes to find reliable public chargers. The public EV charging stations are predominantly Level 2, which cost between $2,000 and $5,000 to install. However, many subsidies are available for residents and businesses to cover upfront installation costs. DC fast chargers require more than $100,000 per station in upfront capital. Charger installation costs are lower if the technology is installed during commercial or home construction rather than long after construction. Time to charge the battery Level 1 chargers (120V) are like standard home plugs but take 11 or more hours to charge a car battery. Level 2 chargers can get an electric car back on the road in about five hours. DC fast chargers can charge a vehicle in less than an hour. The recent infrastructure bill passed by the US Congress provides a significant national investment in EVs and EV charging programs, including $5 billion for states to build a national fast-charging network. Electric vehicle battery safety Electric vehicles are just as safe, if not safer than combustion engine cars. However, there can be issues where a battery catches on fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established a Battery Safety Initiative for Electric Vehicles to coordinate research and address safety risks for batteries in electric vehicles.