For the longest time the electric vehicle had lived in the shadow of the internal combustion engines (ICE). The technology wasn’t advanced enough and couldn’t compete with the massive oil infrastructure. EVs repeated failures had made it a social pariah. However, today the sentiment has shifted, and we’re in for one great underdog story.

Nowadays there’s a ton of compelling reasons to buy a electric vehicle. The significantly reduced maintenance, ability to charge at home, and instant acceleration make for wonderful user experience. This wasn’t always the case though.

Up until just recently EVs have lagged behind ICE cars in all metrics. Humanity hadn’t mastered electronics to the same degree as they had mechanics. Yet, with growing environmentalism many people turned to EVs when they weren’t ready.

Many people wanted a mode of transportation that didn’t create toxic emissions, but without a comparable alternative the argument fell flat.

Electric Vehicles Were Caught in the Crossfire

Electric Vehicle parking space

Personally, I don’t think dragging the EV into the environmental argument so early did the EV, or environmentalism any favors. The general public saw it as a play to take away something they loved. And Americans LOVE their cars

It turned a technology problem, into an ideology problem. Which is bad for everyone. The resentment from this is still one of the main reasons a lot of people won’t consider buying an EV. They hate the idea of an electric vehicle more that the reality of one.

Changing Public Opinion

Luckily in 2003 when battery technology and electronics had finally advanced far enough, Elon Musk founded Tesla. And he did what he does best. He made electric cars sexy. Honestly.

While showing EVs viability he also made them a cool product. He tackled head on the biggest problem, which was the public’s perception. The roadster was the total opposite of all the EVs in the past. It was fast, sexy and expensive. It very much had that “look at this cool car you can’t afford” appeal. (As a caterer they very much still do.)

The Electric Vehicle today.

Today Tesla is very successful with its mass market model selling well. Other compelling EVs have also started to pop up which is great for competition and innovation. Moreover Electric cars are seen as a desirable commodity now, which will allow the technology to advance unobstructed where before it couldn’t.

The EV couldn’t be where it is today without the advance in batteries. Learn about changes in battery research here.