Happy New Year to all, especially electric vehicle (EV) lovers! The year 2020 will start the breakthrough years for EVs in NH and around the country. New EVs from multiple manufacturers are being introduced and sold. Compliance cars made only for CAL-ZEV mandate states are slowly being replaced with EVs available nationwide.
Tesla has dominated EV sales so far with its impressive EVs, especially the Model 3 now made in high volume. The ‘crossover’ Model Y will start shipping in 2020 and is aimed right at the heart of the U.S. car marketplace. The success of Tesla seems to have scared the big legacy manufacturers into making EVs in earnest. New EVs will come from Ford with an Escape plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) in the second quarter. A new Mustang crossover EV and a Volkswagen ID-4 EV crossover may both arrive by the fourth quarter. Hyundai and Kia are starting to produce their popular EV crossover cars in larger numbers, and Toyota and Honda offer even better plug-in hybrids. Nissan is improving its LEAFs, GM continues to improve the Bolt and BMW will both improve the i3 and introduce a new Mini EV soon. Many more companies and cars are joining the EV wave, too. EV sales growth should be about 20% yearly. Just as important is the ever-growing used-EV marketplace where cars coming off leases and from natural turnover are finding a brisk market that is sustaining high valuations.
In 2020, NH drivers will still have to get many of their EVs from MA or VT, but more and more will be available here over time. Tesla should continue to dominate EV sales, and their vehicle range and charger network seems sufficient for growing sales in nearly all states. Of course, non-Tesla EV drivers will have more car choices, but still have to deal with sparse coverage of chargers. This scarcity should start to change later in the year, however, as the Volkswagen (VW) settlement money gets spent on the installation of fast chargers around the state.
The State of NH has identified six major corridors (seven roads) to receive fast and slow chargers. Vendors will propose solutions to the State in January 2020, with vendor selections in March. We could see the first new chargers (4 sites) installed by the end of 2020, and the rest by mid-2021. The state has also reserved some VW settlement money for possible future allocation (maybe well-placed Level 2 chargers).
All this charger activity means good news for NH residents and tourist business owners. A hearty congratulations to all in the NH government and involved persons and companies for getting the VW money put to good use.
Have a safe and Happy New Year!
Randy Bryan is one of the co-founders of Drive Electric NH. Bryan has been an advocate for electric cars for eight-plus years. His company, ConVerdant Vehicles, has converted vehicles to plug-in hybrids, including his own Prius in 2008, and developed and sold inverters that turn a Prius into an emergency generator.