“Is Cheap Gas Pulling The Plug On Electric Cars?” A Response
This letter by Tony Posawatz, President and CEO of Invictus iCAR LLC and GM veteran of 30 years, is cross-posted from CleanTechnica. While gas prices may have some short-term impact on electric vehicle (EV) sales, the April 22 article “Is cheap gas pulling the plug on electric cars?” takes an unfortunately short-sighted view of the future of American mobility. The recent increase in gas-guzzler sales is noteworthy, but history tells us this period of cheap fuel will not last forever. Volatility in the global oil market—responsible for rapid swings in gasoline prices—has returned to levels not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis. Prices will go up again; the only question is how soon. Electricity prices, by comparison, are stable, taking advantage of diverse, domestic energy sources. EV drivers are insulated from oil price spikes and enjoy lower maintenance costs than their gas-powered driving friends—two distinct advantages of EV ownership, even at today’s low fuel prices. Consumer studies show EV drivers are very satisfied with their cars, more so than conventional vehicle owners. The second generation of EVs is coming soon with battery prices dropping an average of 14 percent annually in recent years, increasing range and affordability. And consumers have more choice—Americans can pick one of 24 EV and plug-in hybrid models spanning every product segment, up from 16 a year ago. Consumers know high prices at the pump will inevitably return. Fortunately, new trends and pioneering technologies are transforming American mobility, freeing it from the unpredictable global oil market. These innovative alternatives put healthy pressure on oil demand, creating the competition that drives our country, and EVs are here to compete for the long-term. Tony Posawatz is President and CEO of Invictus iCAR LLC. Posawatz is a leader in automotive innovation, spending 30 years at General Motors, 18 of which he served as Vehicle Line Executive Director, including leading work on the Chevrolet Volt.