EVs are getting some bad press. A consumer report found EVs are the least reliable compared to gas or hybrid cars. Customer expectations for 2023 models are similar.
Why? Well, for the most part, electric vehicles are new, using new tech, and coming from companies only a few years into development. Reliability issues were expected by industry experts as part of the process.
Ok, so Tesla is past all the mix-ups? Not completely. While reliability for the brand increased by 4 positions, it is still below average. Most of the issues Tesla has are not in the powertrain, but in the body, paint, and trim.
Hot new music. A recent recall by Tesla has nearly 130K EVs showing overheating issues with the "infotainment" system. A solution will be pushed to cars with an over-the-air software update.
So, it isn't just the new driving tech, but the boatload of other new tech going into EVs? Exactly…great observation! Battery, software, charging, and manufacturing are all ideas being visited repeatedly as legacy and startup OEMs try to claim their share of the market through affordability and reliability.
Affordability? Oh yeah, another significant barrier between ordinary folks like us and giving an EV the time of day is being able to pay for it. Battery makers are looking at finding ways to cut costs - and since the battery is the most expensive part of the EV, it should have a broader impact on adoption.
Lithium who? Sodium and Sulfur are cheap and abundant compared to the heavy-duty expensive materials currently used to make electric car batteries. Companies across the US and Europe are looking for ways to use the materials to ease global production off Chinese supplied, well, everything.
Experts say we have until about 2025 before Lithium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel get even harder to find and lead to a production bottleneck. The development of sodium ion or lithium-sulfur cells could promise better, cheaper, and locally sourceable batteries for companies worldwide.
Ok, so tell people not to buy EVs? Nah, EVs are here to say it seems. Helping customers see the warnings, the solutions, and the commitment at the OEM level to get it right will help them decide what to buy and when. Establishing honesty and confidence will also show them WHO to buy from when the time comes.