Note From The Editor: Where InsideEVs Is Going Next

After more than a decade of covering the mostly gasoline-powered global auto industry and car culture, I’ve had a few people ask what brought me to InsideEVs. For me, that decision came down to three numbers: 14, 12.5 and 1.5. 

Don’t worry, I’ll explain in a moment. (There won’t even be a quiz at the end. Math was never my strong suit.) 

I joined InsideEVs a little over two months ago, and since then I’ve been eager to tell our millions of monthly readers and followers where we’re headed next. It’s an audience I deeply admire. This publication has been around since 2012; it’s as O.G. as you get in the electric space. It has tirelessly served a community of drivers who were among the first to see the value of plug-in cars, whether they were early Teslas, Nissan Leafs, BMW i3s or hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt.

To some, these cars were great alternatives to gas-powered ones for commuting. To others, they were very clearly the future of how we’ll get around.

I think that debate has been safely settled now. The car industry has always chased two things in its pursuit of better technology—efficiency and performance—and EVs represent the apex of both. Very few automakers are investing in new internal combustion engines and platforms anymore. EV sales in America nearly doubled in 2022 alone and they’ve already crossed the 1 million mark with a few weeks to go in the year.

Globally, about 14 million EVs will have been sold by the year’s end. (See? There’s 14, to start.) The Boston Consulting Group estimates that EVs will constitute 60% of new vehicle sales worldwide by 2035; other types of electrified vehicles are also quickly supplanting pure gas cars. And that electric future will be punctuated with new levels of technology, connectedness and even self-driving that would’ve been unfathomable just a few years ago. 

The world of cars is undergoing the biggest and most profound transformation since the Model T rolled off the first assembly line. 

But those stats mask how hard it will be to get to a zero-emission future everywhere. This year alone has seen uneven progress with EV adoption and countless challenges from legacy automakers and startups alike, leading even reasonable people to doubt where things are headed. There’s also a rising Chinese auto industry that dominates the electric space, questions over EVs’ true environmental good and concerns about whether they can really suit everyone’s needs. 

This is a transition, not an overnight shift. It’s going to be uneven, expensive, exceptionally weird, and it will probably take much longer than we think. It’s also going to be full of fascinating stories. 

That’s where we come in. Things are changing too at InsideEVs. We’re under new ownership, new management, and with a bigger staff than we’ve had in many years. We’ll need it because we’re preparing for a future where electric and plug-in cars aren’t a small niche anymore; they’re about to be for everyone. And that’s why we’re rethinking our approach to things around here.

Welcome to the new mission for InsideEVs: To inform and empower a new generation of drivers about the high-tech, zero-emission transformation of the car industry. 

Aiming For Newcomers

We’re now tailoring much of our coverage to the tens of millions of drivers who are new to this world, which is about to be most people. The vast majority of drivers don’t yet have a clue about Level 2 vs. DC fast charging, or what the different types of batteries are, or how to live with something that doesn’t run on fossil fuels. 

That’s why InsideEVs is about to become the go-to publication catering to people new to the world of EVs—a welcoming, user-friendly resource for drivers on their first plug-in car, and not just their third. We’re here to help, not judge you or beat you up because you haven’t bought a Tesla yet. (Or you’re considering a hybrid, which is a great choice these days too!)

This world is often radically different from what traditional car owners are used to, and those people are going to need accurate, intelligent reporting from our team of experts. We’ll be bringing them exclusive news, interviews, buyer’s guides, car reviews and more to help guide them on their journey. We will do all of this with a fierce sense of independence and a laser focus on the consumer, without being in the tank for any one car company—or any one person. (You know what I mean.) 

You’ve likely seen, and will continue to see, some new names on the site, in addition to the wonderful crew that’s held it down for years. Besides yours truly, we’ve brought on Kevin Williams, whose bylines have appeared at The Drive, Road & Track, The Verge and more to cover the auto business, charging and how the EV transition impacts ordinary people like you. We’ve added Tim Levin, a superb reporter who cut his teeth at Business Insider, to also cover the auto industry, government policy around it and emerging tech. Also on deck is Rob Stumpf from The Drive, a member of a two-Tesla household who was writing about EVs and software long before it was cool. And I’m extremely thrilled to say Mack Hogan, the Reviews Editor at Road & Track and a veteran of CNBC and Jalopnik, is joining as Deputy Editor next month.

More new hires are coming soon, as are many new regular contributors—including some longtime InsideEVs favorites like Tom Moloughney, podcast hosts Hazel Southwell, Miss GoElectric and Alex Goy, and some of the biggest names in the business helping us with reviews, features and videos. We’ll be expanding our presence across new platforms, like Threads, email newsletters and live events. The site’s layout will change eventually. We’re even expanding our how-to guide section to welcome newcomers into the electric fold and give them everything they need to know. 

This week alone, we added Critical Materials, a Monday-Thursday morning news roundup that will give you unprecedented insight into how the auto industry works and what it means for you. And you probably already saw a new feature to most news stories that I call Get Fully Charged: a fast, two-sentence summary that will get you up to speed in easy-to-understand terms even if this is your first time reading about any of these topics. (You’re welcome!)

A Broader Focus On New Car Tech 

The truth is, you can’t talk about the EV revolution without understanding how car companies want to become software companies. New features like in-car downloads, subscription programs, over-the-air updates and increased autonomy will make up a big part of your future driving experience, whether you want it to or not.

Take Hyundai, for example. It’s one of the more successful established automakers on the EV front, and it wants software-driven features to make up 30% of its profits in the coming years. Now, the average car in America is 12.5 years old. (There’s another number.) Go and tell that driver about in-car subscription features; they will look at you like you’re crazy. Believe me, I have tried. 

Some of this stuff, I’m excited about. The idea that you can make an EV sound and drive like a Lexus LFA anytime you want to sounds awfully fun. Other things, like heated seat subscriptions, deserve the scorn they’ve been getting. And some things, like self-repossessing cars when you’re behind on your payments, scare the hell out of me. 

That’s why InsideEVs is here to ask hard questions about the future we’re getting, and who it’s going to be actually good for. Look for more in-depth interviews with tech and software executives, reviews of new infotainment and automated driving assistance systems, and updates on what new software changes will bring to how we get around—all with the end consumer, not dealers or car companies, first in mind.

A New Emphasis On Sustainability 

But here’s another “who is this for?” question, and it’s about why the automotive industry is transitioning away from fossil fuels to begin with. 

In theory, it’s because transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. alone, and because getting cars to no longer contribute to that is seen as a key part of mitigating the real, scientifically proven dangers of climate change. Electric cars won’t fix that entirely. But they can be a vital tool for keeping global warming below that 1.5°C target. (And there’s your final number.)

Yet going into 2024, many critics say the auto industry has become a grotesque parody of itself; that it’s become so drunk on profit margins, massively heavy trucks and SUVs and record-long loan terms that its sole idea for reducing emissions seems to be “Keep doing that, but with batteries!” 

I’m not convinced that’s the right approach. Far from it. If we’re to advocate for anything at InsideEVs, it is for the auto industry to not repeat the mistakes of the past and for all of us to build a better future instead. And how sustainable are these cars anyway, especially if they’re so hard to repair? Where will their battery materials come from? How will we build a grid that can keep them charged without adding to the emissions crisis? And how can we make communities better with cars and without them? 

These are tough questions that I want us to ask. I have long believed that car enthusiasts can, and should, play a role in making the world better, not worse. Here, I think this growing team has a chance to prove it. 

A Closing Note

As any automaker will tell you, saying this stuff and doing it are two very different things. But here at InsideEVs, we have the chance to build a new kind of car and tech publication that speaks to the way things are going, and that’s what we will strive to do every day.

This is the path forward for us, and we have a long way to go before we do all of it. We have our work cut out for us, but nothing in the world seems more exciting right now—or more important, even.

Contact the author: [email protected]

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