People are Asking, “Are Electric Cars the Future of Motoring?”
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Not too long EV’s (electric vehicles) were a rarity on the road and the track, and dream of hardcore environmentalists.
That seems to be changing now and consumers are to believe the media hyperbole and some industry experts, EV’s will soon dominate our roads, and eventually replace their gasoline fueled counterparts.
There are many factors behind the growth in popularity of EV’s.
To begin with, many performance issues associated with electric cars have been put to rest, with new entries on par with gasoline-powered vehicles
What’s more, lower-priced and longer-life batteries have made electric vehicles not only a viable alternative to traditional engines, but a much more affordable one as well.
Cutting emissions to meet pollution-reduction targets is the power behind this movement.
Automobile manufacturers feeling the pressure to meet those targets are spending more money than ever in the development of electric models and the marketing of these vehicles. In that process sending the message to consumers that electric is an option that can be taken seriously.
Despite all the progress, the Big Q is, Can we really see a time when the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine is relegated to the scrapbook?
EV’s have been on the edge of the mainstream consciousness for years, but it is only in the last several years that they have really come to some degree of acceptance.
According to the data, the number of electric vehicles on the world’s roads has risen from less than 10,000 in Y 2009 to almost 750,000 in Y 2015. And the global electric car market topped $73-B globally in Y 2014, and is expected to rise to around $110-B by Y 2019. However, large that number may seem it is “tiny” when we look at the automotive industry as a whole.
So, what do those numbers really mean?
In the United States electric vehicles are a novelty. Since Y 2013 they have accounted for less than 1.5% of the total passenger car market, meaning an extremely insignificant portion cars sold in Y 2015.
Add to that automotive analysts are not expecting any major waves in the coming few years in terms of big number shifts to electric and away from gasoline powered vehicles.
I read a report predicts that by Y 2040 worldwide sales of electric vehicles will top 40-M units, which would represent 35% of total new car sales. I cannot attest to that number, but I believe it is aggressive.
The auto-manufacturer with the largest market share overall is the Renault-Nissan Alliance, whose Leaf and Zoe models account for 28% of the global EV market more than 2X that of its nearest competitor.
The reality is that most all auto manufacturers are making progress in the electric space.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is on course to launch its newest all-electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt by the end of this year and is forecasting sales anywhere in the region of 30,000 and 80,000.
BMW (DE:BMW), Porsche (OTCMKT:POAHY), and Mercedes (OTCMKT:DDAIF) have EV programs in their lineup.
BMW has seen continued success with their i3 range, and its latest incarnation is being talked about in industry circles as a ‘destroyer” for the upcoming Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3.
Porsche fresh from announcing that sales of its electric-hybrid Panamera accounted for 10% of sales of that model in Y 2014, announced plans to invest over $1-B into its 1st all-electric vehicle another assault on Tesla.
And if that was not enough to derail the stock market darling, a direct frontal assault on Tesla’s market share, Mercedes announced a $2.3-B project to launch the 1st of four all-new electric models, starting in Y 2018.
Electric vehicle travel is no doubt a broad industry, and outside of the major players that are manufacturing the vehicles themselves, there are lots of other opportunities for the aggressive entrepreneur. Keep an eye on is in the charging technology. There is lot of B’s going into that arena.
This is the Big Q: Are electric vehicles going to dominate the roads?
The Big A: Do not know there are high hurdles, and stiff headwinds to overcome, the supporting infrastructure being the Key issue.
EV charging destinations have a long way to go before they are as the ubiquitous Gas Station, unless of course you do not venture too far from home.
Then there is the matter of Supply & Demand…
Big Oil is big business and energy it the biggest business on the planet, and it will take time for it to get out of the way, enough to get the electric vehicle momentum really moving. The world is awash with Crude Oil and it is the cheapest most efficient energy source we have.
So, I believe that the EV journey will be measure in decades not years.