electric vehicle plugged in

Electric vehicles hit the streets, but there are potholes to avoid, says faculty expert

No doubt about it, electric vehicles are coming fast. Production of EVs has ramped up in the last couple of years, but there are many issues that need to be addressed before they become the everyday choice for consumers.

Richard Franza, PhD, professor of management at the Hull College of Business at Augusta University, said the timing of EVs is contingent on a few things.

Dean of Hull College standing by sign.

“It’s not a question of if they’re coming, but how fast will they be here,” said Franza. “One is the speed at which there is infrastructure built for them. There are still not a lot of places to charge a car. We need more charging stations. Eventually, EVs will be predominant.”

Franza added a second hurdle is how fast the federal government moves on emissions requirements that will cause consumers to phase out fossil fuel vehicles.

Georgia has become one of the leaders in luring EV manufacturers to call the state home. Not just that, but the state is also drawing in companies that supply batteries and other components.

“Any time you build a manufacturing or assembly facility, you automatically get the suppliers around them. Even before Georgia got the vehicle manufacturers, we already had a battery manufacturer, so Georgia already has a good network for the automobile industry,” said Franza.

Amazon has already made a major investment in EVs, and Franza expects other companies like FedEx and UPS, companies that have a fleet of vehicles, to make the switch to EVs as well, since they have more ability to set up charging networks.

The biggest question remains: how long it will take before EVs become more prevalent on the streets? Franza said the answer could depend on who you listen to, but other factors come into play.

“Right now, electric vehicles account for less than 1% of the vehicles on the road. So I see two leading indicators — the number of gas stations vs. the number of charging stations, and the production of combustion engines vs. electric vehicles. Look for when the ratios of those really start to change, but it’s not black and white. There are several factors that will go into that, and it could take longer than people are saying,” Franza said.

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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at kfaigle@augusta.edu.

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Avatar photo Written by Kevin Faigle

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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