What do higher gas prices for electric cars mean

Image of the article titled High Gas Prices = Is It Time to Buy an Electric Car?  It can be hard to find one

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If you are tired of The skyrocketing gas price And they think about Benefits of electric drivingYou’re probably not alone. But while switching to an electric vehicle may seem like a no-brainer, there are some significant drawbacks — including new problems stemming from the conflict in Ukraine — facing the electric car industry right now, which means demand is likely. To outstrip supply for electric cars. in this time.

Even before the pump price hike, the global shift to electric vehicles was picking up speed. Electric vehicle sales Doubled worldwide in 2021 Compared to 2020. Many huge automakers, such as General Motors, made Large investments in electric vehicle models and factoriesOthers, such as Volvo, have promised to do so Completely stop production of gas-powered cars over the next decade. In February, the Ministry of Energy 5 billion dollar plan unveiled To create a nationwide charging network for electric vehicles. Cities across the United States, from Charleston, West Virginia to Saginaw, Michigan, are Take steps to install electric charging stations.

Gas prices were already high (for a variety of reasons, none of them related to the environmental policies of the Biden administration) prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These high prices will continue for some time.

“The cost of refueling a gas-powered car is often more expensive than an EV,” Nick Nigro, founder of Atlas Public Policy, a company that provides transportation and construction analysis tools for electrification, told Earther. “For consumers, electricity prices are mostly stable over decades, because they are regulated in the United States and are not free to float with the demands of a commodity like oil.”

It is difficult to gauge whether immediate demand for electric vehicles has increased as a result of higher gas prices over the past month. (some initial Prepare She suggests that might be the case: 25% of consumers on Edmunds.com, an auto shopping site, looked at electric vehicle options in the second week of March, up 84% from the same week in February.)

“What we can say for sure is that electric cars are often selling as fast as automakers can make them,” said Nigro. “The signals from the market to the consumer, from rising gas prices to fluctuations in the oil market, will only accelerate interest in the [the EV] transition. We know from research that consumers respond to these price shocks and traditionally buy more fuel-efficient cars — with electric cars available, they are the most efficient cars a consumer can buy. It only makes sense that the demand for electric vehicles will increase because of that.”

But electric cars may be hard to find in the short term. Like anything rather expensive and complex that you might want to buy these days, from furniture to electronics, electric vehicles suffer from the same general supply chain and labor shortages that affect many industries.

“Because of supply chain issues across the auto industry, it’s really hard to gauge how strong the demand for electric vehicles is relative to the demand for conventional vehicles, because the demand for both types of vehicles is supply-constrained right now,” said Negro. “It’s very difficult for the industry to run a dime.”

Another major roadblock for electric vehicles could be made more complicated by the conflict in Ukraine: precious metals and other raw materials that go into batteries. Elements such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel are all key to producing the technology that makes electric cars work. These have already been facing major supply pressures before, thanks to the clean energy revolution: demand for lithium alone is It is expected to grow 70 times by 2040. Both Russia and Ukraine are important suppliers or dealers of many of these items. While the actual nickel deposits in Russia are small, one of the largest nickel producers in the world is a Russian company that owns Not yet Face penalties. However, the idea of ​​isolating this company from the world market was enough to send buyers into a frenzy, global nickel prices Doubled in one day earlier this month. Just before the war, Ukraine started hold auctions To develop its reserves of lithium, cobalt, copper and nickel.

“Raw materials will be an issue for years to come,” Markus Dessmann, CEO of Audi, Tell New York times.

Biden administration made fast tracking The development of domestic production of these materials is a priority, and Biden It said Drafting an executive order to achieve this goal. Automakers and experts say escalating tensions in Ukraine could accelerate mineral development elsewhere as demand for electric cars increases. But as it takes time to develop new sources of these important commodities – which also have seriousness of their own environmental And the Justice issues—The industry is looking forward to a long, and potentially painful, adjustment period.