UK Study Looks at the Year 2022 as the Inflection Point for Electric Vehicles

June 12, 2017 – An inflection point in differential calculus refers to a data point on a plotted curve where change occurs altering the direction of the curve irrevocably. For consumers, according to, the point in time for electric vehicles (EVs) will be 2022. That’s when economics, government policy, and environmental conditions will converge to make the EV the right choice for most vehicle buyers.



Today we can select from three types of battery-powered vehicles. There are hybrids that include a small internal combustion engine combined with an electric motor and battery pack to power the car. There are plug-in hybrids which run on battery to start until the charge is used up and then switch to gasoline or diesel fuel engines. And then there plug-in electric cars that operate purely on electricity (see image above at a plug-in fuel station).

The UK government has set climate policy to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and as part of its efforts has set a target of 60% EVs on the road by 2030. The problem today is that there are only a small number of pure EV choices and, for the most part, these vehicles are not priced competitively with gasoline and diesel powered models. At the same time, the most affordable EVs suffer from limited driving range.

That’s about to change as Tesla and General Motors bring new models to market that are more affordable for the average buyer while providing significant range. The remaining challenge, a charging infrastructure equal to gasoline and diesel is still years away. So any driver of an EV, even if it has the ability to travel 400 kilometers on a single charge, still has to find the few and far between charge stations to juice up. And if you choose to install a charging station at your home or work, you have that added cost. And even a quick charger can take 20 to 30 minutes to bring the batteries back to near full range.

With EVs on the road since 2010, we are just beginning to see an after market for used models. A used EV can be a very affordable choice for a second car. These are lower maintenance choices than traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles. They have fewer moving parts. The biggest repair cost will be replacing the battery, and the cost of batteries is coming down.

Why should you consider an EV?

If you are a short commute driver most of the time you may want to consider an EV. Charge it overnight. Charge it when you get to work. Charge it when you return home. Operational and energy costs will be far less than the alternative. If your commute, however, is long, the current crop of EVs when looking at performance and price, will make little sense to you and your pocketbook. That is unless you are one of those early adopters who is fascinated by the technology.

So why is 2022 the Date to Watch for EVs?

According to the UK research, that will be when there will be a large number of used EVs available on the market, and the new models will be significantly more advanced having overcome the existing limitations of the technology. At the same time the infrastructure will be in place to make EVs ubiquitous.

Among the many automobile and truck manufacturers in the world market, EVs will be the predominant offering. We can already see the trend in terms of new models from almost every major manufacturer, and from new ones that a few years ago were total unknowns. Think Tesla and you are just at the tip of the iceberg. According to an article appearing in May 2016 in Forbes, at a Beijing automobile show, 10 different EVs models were on display. Chinese consumers in 2015 purchased 188,700 EVs and plug-in hybrids. That was a 223% increase over the previous year. In terms of driving range models varied from 150 to 400 kilometers with pricing from $5,000 to $30,000 U.S.

On the EV-info website, there are 260 manufacturers of EV, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid manufacturers. Most of the brands and names will be new to you. But there are familiar names as well like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Lotus, BMW, Porsche, Peugeot, Nissan, Audi, Honda, Volvo, Ford, Mercedes, Renault and General Motors.

When should you buy an EV?

The infographic below, although from the UK with prices in pound sterling, may be a helpful guide for those saying goodbye to a current gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle. You may want to be ahead of the inflection point and make the EV leap. I know my wife and I are about to get what I hope will be our last owned or leased vehicle and we are looking at a hybrid (we live in a condominium with no opportunity to put in a charge station). After we finish with this vehicle I expect to be hailing a self-driving car to get around.



Source: For European readers the original data can be found at

Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery.