How U.S. Can Catch Up on Electric Vehicles

With China selling 40 percent of the world’s electric vehicles (EVs) in 2019, can U.S. automakers catch up in the marketplace?

“There are a lot of moving parts that have to come together to see more rapid progress [in the U.S.]. The consumer demand side is one that has always been lagging and discouraged auto companies to move ahead faster. We have had the problems with momentum swings. Often it seems like it resets to zero, in terms of public and corporate attention to it. The policy swings have been a problem too,” PVMI Director John Paul MacDuffie said during the April 6 discussion “How the U.S.-China Race for Electric Vehicles Is Changing the World.”

The episode is part of the China Institute’s ongoing series Getting to Zero, which explores China and U.S. greenhouse gas emissions commitments. MacDuffie was interviewed along with Frank Girardot, communications director for BYD Auto’s North American operations, and Tu Le, founder and managing director at Sino Auto Insights.

“I am not as pessimistic about the charging infrastructure situation … you can get a charger at home and run it off of a 240v outlet. Most of your daily commuting, you won’t need to charge it while out and about at all because you will have charged your vehicle at night. The electric utilities don’t want people charging at peak hours, and they will incentivize the time-shifting to off-peak hours. It is about getting infrastructure into urban areas and multi-use buildings as well as along highways. That is where the Biden administration should focus,” MacDuffie said.

Watch the episode below, and find the full recap at China Institute.