A report from the National Academy of Sciences looks at barriers and adoption.
One of the more challenging jobs the auto industry has right now is explaining to consumers that the future isn’t going to be like the past. We desperately need to reduce vehicle carbon emissions in order to avoid turning the planet into a hellscape, and that means turning to cars with some kind of energy storage other than hydrocarbons we’ve dug up from the ground and then distilled. That’s where people get confused and the message stalls, a problem laid out in a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences.
For many decades cars have been simple things with internal combustion engines. They burned gasoline or sometimes diesel and occasionally even liquified natural gas. Sometimes they had turbochargers or superchargers to ram more air into the combustion chamber, and very occasionally that combustion chamber was something odd like a Wankel rotary engine. Now, the need to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality means many more options when it comes to a vehicle’s powertrain.
One surefire way to get that message across is to give people an EV experience, according to Pam Fletcher, the chief engineer for EVs at General Motors (GM):
“The people that have owned and lived with EVs can understand it, they’ve seen how the vehicles work for them, It’s part of the learning curve and more people will understand it over time,” she said. “It’s hard to explain to people the benefits if they haven’t had that experience.”
Read more: Ars Technica