October 16, 2021

The grounds behind electric vehicle skepticism, according to the CEO of a major auto retailer

2 min read

Although the CEO of Pendragon, a prominent automotive retailer, acknowledges the obstacles facing the electric vehicle industry, he expects that adoption rates will rise in the future. Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe,” Bill Berman stated that powertrains needed to evolve and that he was a “strong fan of electric vehicles.” He added, “I’m also a huge supporter of hydrogen - I think it does have a role to perform, and I think it’ll begin to come on a bit stronger in the years ahead.” He continued, “People’s apprehension… regarding electric is complex.”

“For starters, it’s unknown — no one has ever driven an electric vehicle, so there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Berman added, referring to the fact that very many people have yet to try out an EV. “The majority of customers express range anxiety. Even if the majority of consumers drive just under 50 miles each day, knowing that you won’t be able to refuel your vehicle causes apprehension conveniently.”

Range anxiety believes that electric vehicles cannot travel great distances without running out of power and becoming stuck. To address this, enough charging infrastructure will require to be constructed in the next years.

Berman then explained how, in his opinion, there are issues in terms of where a car can be charged. He explained, “Most households aren’t fitted power supply wise, and most office buildings don’t have it.”

“It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but I believe adoption rates will rise as more electric cars are sold, and more network is built — whether in North America, Europe, or the United Kingdom.”

The change appears to be on the horizon when it relates to the kinds of cars that people use. The United Kingdom, for example, has put out plans to phase out internal combustion engines by 2050 and achieve a net-zero transportation sector.

By 2030, it plans to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans, and by 2035, it wants all new cars as well as vans to emit zero tailpipe emissions. In other news, the European Commission, executive arm of EU, has set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions from automobiles and vans by 100 percent by 2035.

The automotive sector is expected to undergo key changes in the coming years as technology advances, as well as the environmental concerns grow. Berman attempted to give an idea of how this would play out in his interview with CNBC. He believes that people will adopt “alternative forms of transportation.” “I believe people will adopt many modes of transportation and powertrains, whether electric or hydrogen.”

“Autonomous vehicles will exist at some point in the distant future,” he said. “And, you know, you might be summoning a pod, a la Uber, to pick you up and… transport you to the marketplace every day.”

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