The Future For Electric Vehicles — A Few Analysts Weigh In

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally posted on EVANNEX.

Image by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica.

What’s in store for the future of the auto industry? Camila Domonoske at NPR recently spoke with a number of industry experts to get their feedback. It turns out that the auto industry could (soon) undergo a significant paradigm shift — transitioning from gas-powered cars to EVs. According to Domonoske, “Going electric is not just an eco-friendly goal, an ambition that would help fight climate change. It’s a business reality, according to industry analysts.” (Related: Tesla Model 3 Costs vs. 10 Best Selling Cars In The USA)

“Electrification, you cannot stop it anymore — it’s coming,” says Elmer Kades, a managing director with the consulting firm AlixPartners. “We have fantastic growth rates, between 50 and 60 percent on a global level.”

After all, according to Tom Murphy, a managing editor at Wards Auto which ranks the world’s best engines, electric cars are just “fun to drive.” Extolling the electric vehicle’s ninja-like performance and instant acceleration, Murphy says, “They’re enjoyable, they’re quiet … and there’s loads of torque.”

According to Wall Street Journal automotive columnist Dan Neil, electric vehicles “are such better machines than the machines they’re replacing,” that consumers could elect to retire their gas guzzlers long before the end of the vehicles’ useful lives. “Just like plasma TVs. … A lot of plasma TVs didn’t see the useful end of their lives before they were replaced by much cheaper, but also much betterLCD screens.”

Nevertheless, the timeline for the transition to electric cars continues to be a point of contention among analysts. Felipe Munoz, a global analyst at JATO, predicts electric vehicles will outsell conventional ones by 2030. Bill Visnic, editorial director at the Society of Automotive Engineers, is less optimistic. He predicts gas- and diesel-powered “combustion engines really aren’t going anywhere for quite some time.”

Mary Nichols, who heads the California Air Resources Board, agrees that internal combustion engines aren’t going away anytime soon. “We can’t turn them all into planters or sculptures,” she says. “So I think we’re going to have to provide for them to continue to exist.”

Ultimately, much of the argument hovers around the point at which electric cars can effectively compete, on price, with the internal combustion engine. Sam Abuelsamid, an auto analyst with Navigant, says, “Probably in the mid-2020s time frame, it becomes comparable or cheaper to actually buy and operate an EV than an internal combustion vehicle.”

Tesla isn’t standing still, though. The company could pull that goalpost forward with its $35,000 Model 3, the new Model Y and, later this year, an unveiling of its new pickup truck. David Reichmuth, a senior engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says, “We’re moving in the right direction with electric cars. … But the question is: How fast do we get there? And, you know, if you look at what we’re already seeing with climate change, we’re going to have to move faster.”

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica.TV Video

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Matt Pressman

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.

Matt Pressman has 332 posts and counting. See all posts by Matt Pressman