By Varun Talluri (‘23)
Cars, often used to represent freedom, have unfortunately fallen into disuse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has left aspiring travelers and adventure seekers somewhat unsatisfied. There is a silver lining, however, and it is the reformation of the automotive industry. Although faced with the troubles of supporting their employees and selling inventory, automobile manufacturers were able to use this time to refine existing technology and explore different vehicle classes. One such area that received significant attention was electric vehicles (EVs).
Recently, the news of EVs and the division of its market share has been prevalent and has played an influential role in the market. For example, Tesla, once considered as the frontrunner in EV technology, dipped to a valuation of around $550 dollars after claims that competitors, such as Ford’s Mach E, were eating at the former’s market value. This brings up the question as to why electric vehicles are such a big deal. First of all, electric vehicles are much more energy efficient and have been reported to have less maintenance costs than traditional vehicles, which often damage car components. Furthermore, the costs of electric vehicles have also been steadily decreasing, making these cars more appealing to consumers. Also, as a given, electric vehicles are significantly better for the environment as they help fulfill the goals of eco-friendly organizations and combat climate change.
The EV industry is also paralleling the advancements being made in autonomous vehicles. One such example of this is the Google subsidiary Waymo, which has secured an exclusive partnership with Stellantis, which was formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, to work on the latter’s autonomous vehicle fleet. With strides being made to design and deliver the most efficient and appealing vehicle, the future of the automobile industry looks bright and will progress by leaps and bounds in ways we may not have even thought of. So, the next time you spot an electric vehicle stealthy driving past you, take a moment to appreciate the rapidly evolving technology and take a moment to understand that electric vehicles are truly the future of transportation.