Electric vehicles are going to become an increasingly common sight on the road, especially as we continue to see major automotive companies make prodigious commitments to electrification. But we’re also still seeing hesitation from drivers who are anxious to make the switch. 

In the US, 58 percent of drivers are worried that they will run out of power before being able to charge their electric vehicle, the Drive reported in 2019.

These concerns are understandable. 

That’s exactly why I’m so eager to send teams of drivers — using only electric vehicles — to travel from New York City to Los Angeles, in a period of 10 days, this fall.

Putting Charge Across America, the first-of-its-kind EV cross-country race on a national stage will help demystify electric cars, and ease pervasive fears around range anxiety.

EV charging stations are in short supply

At the same time though, I am acutely aware of the current shortfalls in the EV charging systems in the US. There are currently more than 136,400 gas stations. There are just 41,400 EV charging stations, according to the Department of Energy. Not all stations are reliable either. Drivers may be met with broken chargers, fraying cables, and unreliable maps. 

But what we’re also seeing is a massive collaborative effort across automakers, startups, and government bodies to meet the imminent EV charging demand.

Under his $2 trillion infrastructure bill, President Joe Biden is prioritizing a national EV charging network, which has committed to installing 500,000 of these devices across the U.S. by 2030.

Automakers are coming up with innovative charging solutions

Automakers are developing partnerships with existing charging networks to foster a convenient and frustration-free system for drivers. 

Ford, for example, announced last month that it will invest $30 billion in its electrification efforts by 2025. By 2030, the automaker said 40% of its vehicles sold will be electric. 

To make it feasible for its EV drivers to charge up, the company developed the FordPass. This gives Ford drivers access to more than 16,000 existing EV charging stations.

Some automakers are going so far as to meet consumers where they are, and allow them to work through their hesitations before committing to buying an EV.

Hyundai, for example, will allow buyers to try out the Ioniq 5 for three months before purchasing it. 

“This plan isn’t just about getting people that are on the fence about buying an EV into an EV,” Lawrence Hodge wrote in Jalopnik earlier this month. “This is also a show of how confident Hyundai is in its product.”

Range anxiety isn’t just related to finding a conveniently located charging station. There are concerns about how long it takes to sufficiently charge a vehicle, which can — in some cases — take hours. 

Startups are inventing batteries that charge in mere minutes

That’s where we’re seeing innovative startups, like Atlis Motor Vehicles, come in. The Arizona-based company is working on an EV battery cell that can be fully charged in less than 15 minutes and will be available this year. 

By 2023, the electric vehicle market will likely reach a valuation of $356 billion by 2023. 

But we won’t even have to wait until then to see the innovations we need to feel confident in driving an EV across the country.

By October, when Charge Across America takes off, our drivers will leverage apps, proliferating charging stations, and the most updated maps to seamlessly travel from the Big Apple to the City of Angels. Our drivers will demonstrate what’s possible today and how making a small shift in our mindsets will make us more comfortable in getting behind the EV wheel.

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