(REPOST: Myzi)

Are electric cars only for the rich? The environmentally conscious? Early tech adopters? Are they something we just watch clips about on Youtube and read articles about on Yahoo News?

That may have been accurate over the past decade, but the electric car industry is slowly but surely becoming more mainstream. What has long been an interesting concept has been held back by stark realities – lack of inventory, short ranges, inconsistent charge options, very high sticker prices.

While none of these problems have totally disappeared, they have all moved in the right direction for consumers.

That trend is only continuing. Here are 8 reasons why you may find yourself driving an electric car in the next few years.

1. Charging Times are Going Down

Earlier models of electric vehicles may have called for overnight charges, even for ranges well under two hundred miles. One Ford Focus charger needed 30 hours for a full-charge that would then only deliver about 115 miles of driving range.

Things are starting to change.

New charges are trying to make things much more practical, like Tesla’s “Supercharger” that would get a driver over 300 miles of range in just a 75 minute charge.

Though it will still take several years to get charge times much closer to the five minutes it takes to fuel up gas as the station, trends in charge times and delivered driving range are quickly moving in the customer’s favor.

2. Charging Stations Are Going Up

We don’t need to think about gas stations because gas stations are everywhere. And while the same global reach of charging stations might still be far off, they are still growing at a clip.

Electric stations are the fastest growing alternative fueling station in the U.S. by far, with over 50,000 stations as of 2016. This is up from about 10,000 in the year 2011. In the 2000s, electric fueling stations were virtually non-existent.

The growth trend in charging stations is being driven both by actual increased demand for electric vehicles as well as government support through legislation and funding – both in the United States and abroad. Expect the rapid growth of charging station in the past five years to continue.

3. Traditional Gas Stations Are Slowly Decreasing

The number of electric charging stations is still far below the roughly 168,000 retail gas fueling locations in the U.S. – and not to mention that each of these locations usually have significantly more individual stations to fuel.

However, while there has been rapid growth in the electric charging stations in the past 5 or so years, gas stations have seen a small but steady decline over the last 20 years.

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