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Consumers are racing to plug in to EVs

A Formula One car drives past a crowd of onlookers on a closed track
Image Credit: Chutternsap/Unsplash

High gas prices, new regulations from Europe and a fleet of new vehicles have consumers speeding up electric vehicle adoption.

It looks like electric cars may become the most popular type of light vehicle sold in the world by 2028, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group.

That's three years ahead of the consulting group's previous expectations and good news for potentially stopping climate change. Buying an electric vehicle (and reducing meat consumption) are probably the two consumer behaviors that can have the most impact on climate change.

By 2030, BCG predicts that battery electric vehicle sales will top internal combustion engines and hybrid vehicle sales.

That means, Europe will be on track to hit its climate goals (thanks in part to its decree banning sales of fossil-fueled light vehicles by 2035).

The U.S., which still has work to do to achieve its own climate goals, is seeing greater consumer adoption of electric vehicles -- in part because of their ability to provide additional features in the face of failing public infrastructure (like vehicle to grid power for homes in the event of a blackout).

State policies are also playing a role with Nevada, Virginia, California, Minnesota and ten other states setting zero-emission vehicle quotas for new car sales. These quotas require automakers to offer and sell a certain number of electric or zero-emission vehicles for every fossil fuel powered vehicle sold.

Hybrid and battery electric vehicles made up about 20% of all vehicles sold this year, while the percentage of combustion engine vehicles dropped by 9%.

The world has a long way to go to reach the kind of replacement numbers needed to move the needle on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, but every new electric car sold moves the needle.

Automakers are also spending big bucks to make sure that consumers can buy whatever type of electric car they want. Toyota and Volkswagen (the two largest car companies by global sales) will spend $250 billion over the next eight years on batteries and electric vehicle production.

The growth comes at a cost, though. Supply chains for vital materials are getting squeezed by the skyrocketing demand and automakers will struggle to keep up, according to BCG.

And while the European Union and China are on track to meet their goals for electric vehicle adoption, the U.S. is falling behind according to the BCG report.

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