(NewsNation) — According to the International Energy Agency, electric vehicle sales reached a record 6.6 million globally in 2021, more than doubling 2020’s numbers.
Now, a major American automaker is pledging to fully electrify one of its name brands by 2030. General Motors has declared it will no longer offer Buicks with internal combustion engines in North America by the end of the decade, while also unveiling its all new Buick Wildcat concept that would debut as soon as 2024.
Kara Kockleman, professor of transportation engineering at the University of Texas, applauds GM’s move. She hopes the country will quickly make the shift from internal combustion engines to electric. And she says the record sales of 2021 are only part of the evidence that it’s happening.
“Several years ago, we did a study on the different battery costs, which continue to fall. So they’re kind of at the low end of what we were looking at. And, yeah, with gas prices above $3, and right now $4 (a gallon), it makes a lot of sense holding on to that vehicle, because the maintenance costs are so much lower … so it’s a really fantastic thing.
She also noted that Ford is developing an electric car that can be used to “send power back to other things … needed in your home during blackouts and brownouts or camping trips, and while you’re on the job site, so there’s a lot of additional benefits of these vehicles.”
Kockleman conceded that electric cars, on average, still cost more than their internal combustion counterparts. But that extra “$8,000 investment on the purchase price” will be paid off in lower fuel and maintenance costs, “probably within 10 years.”
Kockleman says as more electric vehicles hit the roads, she isn’t too concerned about a potential burden on the electrical grid unless everyone plugs in when the grid is getting close to capacity.