Low-income drivers behind the wheel of electric vehicles are expected to reduce greenhouse gases in the coming years, according to a report released Monday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a science and technology think tank in Washington, DC. necessary to obtain.

Given the lack of low-carbon alternatives to internal combustion engines (ICEs) and the urgency of emissions reduction requirements for EVs to be market success, report authors Madeline Yozwiak, Sanya Carly and David M. Koninsky.

Because of the stakes involved, he continued, the technology maturity path for EVs needs to move faster than an emerging technology.

There is a need for rapid adoption of this young technology if local and global policy goals are to be met, he added. This implies that a wider range of consumers should buy an EV earlier in the adoption process than similar technologies

Since traditional approaches to incentivizing the purchase of EVs may fail to reach low-income and disadvantaged communities, the authors argue that innovation should help address the disparities in EV adoption and assist the broader goal of mass adoption. would be an important strategy.

They believe that by intentionally involving a diverse range of users in the adoption process, technology providers can more effectively identify issues and modify technology to successfully appeal to the mass market.

barriers to adoption

Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore., agreed that low-income and disadvantaged people who drive cars are critical to the decarbonization of the environment. “That’s where most non-compliant gas cars live, which makes it an important milestone in reducing automotive-based pollutants,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Be aware, however,” he warned, “that most areas still do not yet have sufficient power generation and distribution capacity for these clusters.”

The ITIF report said the top three barriers to EV adoption – range, price and charge time – affect low-income and disadvantaged drivers more than others.

“Standard barriers may be experienced more acutely for low-income individuals than for middle-income individuals,” Yozwick said.

For example, when it comes to low-income drivers, incentives designed to encourage the purchase of EVs can leave their mark.

“The upfront cost is higher than for internal combustion vehicles, yet the primary form of government-created incentive is a tax credit of $7,500,” Yozwiak told TechNewsWorld. “But to benefit from that policy, you must have at least $7,500 in tax liability.”

“If you make $30,000 a year, you won’t have that much in tax liability, so you won’t get the full benefit of that credit to lower the cost of the vehicle compared to higher-income buyers,” she explained.

rich man with garage

Charging an EV can be even more challenging for low-income and disadvantaged drivers. David M. Hart, director of ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation, told TechNewsWorld, “Low-income people are more likely to live in multi-family dwellings and less likely to have a place to directly charge a car “

Anderle said that because of constraints like price, range and charging time, EVs are often the second car in the family. “Low-income groups likely only have one car that they primarily use, and that is the car that needs to be replaced,” he said.

The report also noted that strategies to accelerate EV adoption among low-income and disadvantaged communities include prioritizing communication and marketing, revisiting perceptions and biases about early adopters, and increasing demand and universal benefits. should be involved in designing government programs to maximize

“Perceptions about who is using this technology inform a variety of decisions,” Yozwick said. “Those decisions result from what defines the types of incentives and policies the technology has made to encourage its adoption.”

“If those decisions are based on misconceptions about who is buying the technology or who can buy it,” she continued, “you perpetuate a bias that could further impact access.”

“When car sellers think of early adopters, they think of wealthy men with garages,” Hart said. “If they focus solely on that group, they will be slow to adopt these vehicles because they will be seen as the province of the rich. We need these vehicles to perform the mobility tasks that all of us need. People need it.”

Enderle notes that EVs were initially offered at the premium end of the market and that public chargers are positioned to serve that segment of the buyer. “Low-income households may not have the power to power a Level 2 charger or the location to install it,” he said.

“Public charging will need to be installed that is more convenient for those populations,” he continued, “such as street inductive charging – which requires less maintenance and is less prone to vandalism – that is available on the ground from companies such as Witricity. achieving.”

Tesla Witricity with Wireless Charger

WiTricity Halo wireless charging for EVs was announced in February.


incentive work

Another takeaway from the report was that the federal government could help increase benefits to the low-income and disadvantaged by modifying the federal tax credit for EV purchases to make it eligible for a refundable, or carry-forward, charging infrastructure. To expand access to and help. Upgrades to older homes.

If the tax credit was refundable, for example, a person who only paid $3,000 in taxes would receive a $3,000 tax credit and a $4,500 refund check from Uncle Sam, or with a carry-forward, they would get a $4,500 tax credit. 3,000 and will be able to carry the remaining credit to subsequent tax years.

Incentives like tax credits can boost sales, said Edward Sanchez, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, a global research, advisory and analysis firm. “Norway recently removed some incentives because they exceeded the 50% threshold for EVs in the form of new car sales, and soon after removing that credit, they saw a drop in EV sales,” he told TechNewsWorld. Told.

“The long goal for manufacturers is to bring the price up to the point where subsidies and credits are no longer needed, but we are not quite there yet,” he said.

move in mass transit

Since most Americans buy used cars, the best thing to do to accelerate EV purchases by low-income and disadvantaged drivers is to accelerate sales of new vehicles, according to E-Mobility Insights in Detroit. Sam Abuelsamid, a leading analyst, said. “As they filter into the used vehicle fleet, they may become more economical,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“The only other thing we can do is encourage people to get out of old vehicles and use mass transportation,” he said.

“As long as Americans want to continue driving their vehicles,” he said, “it’s going to be at least 2040 before you significantly reduce the existing vehicle fleet.”

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