EVs Here to Stay…If They Satisfy Driving Needs of the Public
By Lee Broughton
In my last post, I mentioned the National Summit on Energy Security that recently gathered private and public sector leaders in Washington to discuss the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. I focused mostly on Enterprise CEO Andy Taylor’s comments, which stressed a pragmatic, market-driven approach to rolling out electric vehicles as a part of the solution to our future transportation needs.
Not to be lost in that message is that there is certainly room for public and private sector collaboration – that government, too, can be an important part of helping EVs and other clean technologies develop. We welcome the government’s efforts to provide incentives to purchase EVs, develop the supporting infrastructure and continue to evolve EV technology.
Andy was joined at the Summit by FedEx CEO Fred Smith, who put the issue into a historical perspective. Fred discussed the fact that early government Air Mail subsidies for airplane manufacturers and airlines helped the aviation industry develop from early biplanes to commercial aircraft that could dependably fly and make money.
He made a fair point that government subsidies can play major role in accelerating the development of transportation infrastructure, and some of that aviation history lesson applies to the development of EV infrastructure today.
But, while government has a role to play in the electrification of transportation, for EVs to gain wide acceptance they must still prove themselves in the marketplace by meeting the driving needs of the public. That’s what we mean by a market-driven evolution to this technology.