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Electric vehicle growth slows, experts weigh in on 2024 EV adoption

Savannah Welch

Jan 4, 2024

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) — The growth rate for electric vehicles has slowed in recent weeks, as more and more dealerships report being unable to move EVs off their lots. With President Biden's goal for half of all new vehicles sold to be electric by 2030, the question remains, are we on track?

Some analysts say we're not even close.

"Our expectation for 2024 is for EV sales to represent about 9% of total new vehicle sales," said Ed Kim, president and chief analyst of Autopacific. "Now, that's still significant growth over the prior year. But it's nowhere close to the Biden administration's goal of 50% EV sales by 2030."

Soaring prices and patchy charging infrastructure continue to be the main contributors to slowing EV adoption rates, Kim tells KATU. He, however, remains optimistic. In the next two to three years, EV sales are expected to start ramping up again as more moderately priced models come in.

"We do have a whole new segment of EVs that are about to hit the market, specifically three-row EVs," Kim said. "Up to this point, most EVs have been smaller, more compact models, but there are a lot of growing families out there. When you're raising a family, it's likely you may want or need a three-row vehicle. This year, we have quite a few of those coming into the marketplace."

Federal EV tax credits are again available for 2024. However, with Biden's new rules taking effect on Jan. 1, the number of eligible car models has shrunk, with some models no longer eligible.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington continue to be a leader in clean transportation. Portland-based company Chargeway is working to make EV adoption easier. Founder and CEO Matt Teske says the company aims to educate people on how going electric can fit into their lifestyle. It's not about selling cars, Teske said. It's about marketing the fuel.

We want to help both, whether it’s the industry or consumers, understand more quickly how this works for your lifestyle so dealers can be more effective at selling EVs by explaining electricity as a fuel and consumers can see how that switch will fit into their life," he said.

Teske said he started Chargeway as a way to make EV usage more accessible to the general public. The company's app connects EV drivers with charging stations, differentiating stations based on charging speeds.

With supply shortages catching up after the pandemic, production has reached consumer demand. Teske said overall, whether from the federal level down, there needs to more more awareness raised around the benefits of electric cars so people can better understand their benefits.

“We’re seeing vehicles sit on the lot and I think that’s partly because people that were the early adopters, they wanted to do their homework, whereas the mass market, they need help understanding how this fits into their life so we're going to need to improve upon that education," he said.

So could 2024 be a turning point for dropping gas-powered cars completely and switching to EVs? Teske says yes.

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