The gasoline-powered automobile is not going away anytime soon. However, several emerging trends in transportation have the potential to significantly influence a shift in our automotive history towards greener cars. Major transformation in the American car market is dependent on these three trends:
1) Electric Vehicles may become a larger segment of the U.S. Auto market. Levels 2 and Level 3 fast-charging stations are being installed in homes and major cities all over the U.S. Pike Research predicts, by 2017, that there will be approximately 1.5 million EV charging stations in the U.S. Tesla, GM, Ford, and Nissan are leading the way for a larger, more affordable market of EVs in the United States, while Mitsubishi, BYD and others will expand the market in 2012 and beyond. Innovations in battery technology, production economies of scale pushing down prices and expanded ranges will push EVs into the limelight.
2) Car and ride sharing can revolutionize private vehicle ownership in urban markets. As I wrote in a blog post last week, car sharing operations (CSOs) are popping up all over the U.S. Hertz, Zipcar and a wealth of smaller CSOs are taking more cars off the road while encouraging car sharing in cities across the U.S. Ride sharing, which involves Peer-to-Peer car sharing, can further discourage individuals from buying personal cars in cities and suburban areas. If programs are designed efficiently with state of the art mobile applications and encouraging municipal policy, car and ride sharing has the potential to greatly influence green driving habits, reduce congestion and save individuals on the cost of owning a car.
3) The price of gasoline has the most significant effect on the uptake of alternative fuel vehicles, reduced driving and the use of public transportation. If gas prices remain high and/or increase, we will see more and more Americans looking towards EVs, more efficient vehicles, and other alternatives for gas savings.
We are nearing the cusp of a revolution in our love affair with the automobile. What do you think it’s the greatest factor that will influence reduced ownership of traditional, fossil-fuel powered cars in the U.S.?
Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.