Will there be only one survivor in the battle between electric vehicles and traditional cars? The two technologies will co-exist for a while yet.
Recently, the atmosphere around electric vehicles has been buzzing with excitement. In 2016, global electric vehicle (EV) sales set a new record at 750,000 units. Meanwhile, in July 2017, Tesla finally unveiled the $35,000 Model 3, whose affordable price is designed to propel EVs into the consumer mainstream.
Established car manufacturers are furiously playing catch-up. Volvo has announced that all its new models from 2019 on will be equipped with electric motors, while Volkswagen is targeting annual sales of 2 million to 3 million electric cars—around one-quarter of its total—by 2025.
With air quality issues making headlines worldwide, governments are also getting in on the act. July 2017 saw France announce plans to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040. Just two weeks later the U.K. followed suit, only for China to reveal that it too was “studying” a similar ban in September.
No wonder, then, that headlines like “The Death of the Internal Combustion Engine” (The Economist) and “Electric Cars Reach a Tipping Point” (Bloomberg) are ubiquitous. The momentum behind EVs feels unstoppable.