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The Electric Car Revolution on Everyman Driver

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The Electric Car Revolution on Everyman DriverGasoline cars have been mainstream for so long that many people don’t realize electric cars used to be the norm. Gasoline cars replaced electric cars partly because the batteries of 100 years ago were limited and also because Henry Ford chose gas for the Model T. But electric cars had many advantages that kept them popular for years. Rumor has it Henry Ford’s wife wouldn’t give up her electric car for a Model T because of several advantages – advantages that electric cars still have today. And today, with much-improved batteries, electric cars are making a comeback in a big way.

Here’s how electric cars have grown in the marketplace over the past four years.

Globally, at the end of 2010, there were 25,000 electric cars on the road. At the end of 2011, there were more than three times that amount: 80,000. At the end of 2012, there were 200,000, two-and-a-half times more. And at the end of 2013, there were 405,000.

Translation? The number of electric cars on the roads has been doubling or tripling every year for the past several years. Although electric cars represent just approximately one percent of the automobile market, the growth trend is similar to what we’ve seen for every other disruptive technology: washing machines, dishwashers, computers, laptops, cell phones, smartphones, cassette tapes, CDs, MP3 players, and digital cameras, to name a few. From a certain point of view, we could say that electric cars are about halfway to market domination.2

Not every technology that starts out strong ends up taking over. These first several years of electric car growth follow the disruptive technology pattern, but they don’t guarantee an “electric vehicle revolution,” as many in the industry refer to it. For a technology to replace another so completely, it needs to be: 1) much better, 2) cheaper, or 3) both. You aren’t going to buy an electric car simply because other people are beginning to do so. You’re going to buy an electric car because it makes much more sense for you. I’m convinced that for the average person, this time will come – this year, next year, or sometime in the coming decade.



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