Tidal Wave of Spending on EVs

January 16, 2018

Reuters via Nikkei Asian Review:

DETROIT, U.S. (Reuters) — Ford Motor Co’s plan to double its electrified vehicle spending is part of an investment tsunami in batteries and electric cars by global automakers that now totals $90 billion and is still growing, a Reuters analysis shows.

That money is pouring in to a tiny sector that amounts to less than 1 percent of the 90 million vehicles sold each year and where Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc, with sales of only three models totaling just over 100,000 vehicles in 2017, was a dominant player.

With the world’s top automakers poised to introduce dozens of new battery electric and hybrid gasoline-electric models over the next five years – many of them in China – executives continue to ask: Who will buy all those vehicles?

“We’re all in,” Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr said of the company’s $11 billion investment, announced on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “The only question is, will the customers be there with us?”

“Tesla faces real competition,” said Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation Inc, the largest U.S. auto retailing chain. By 2030, Jackson said he expects electric vehicles could account for 15-20 percent of New vehicle sales in the United States.

Investments in electrified vehicles announced to date include at least $19 billion by automakers in the United States, $21 billion in China and $52 billion in Germany.

But U.S. and German auto executives said in interviews on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show that the bulk of those investments are earmarked for China, where the government has enacted escalating electric-vehicle quotas starting in 2019.

Mainstream automakers also are reacting in part to pressure from regulators in Europe and California to slash carbon emissions from fossil fuels. They are under pressure as well from Tesla’s success in creating electric sedans and SUVs that inspire would-be owners to flood the company with orders.

While Tesla is the most prominent electric car maker, “soon it will be everybody and his brother,” Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche told reporters on Monday at the Detroit show.

Daimler has said it will spend at least $11.7 billion to introduce 10 pure electric and 40 hybrid models, and that it intends to electrify its full range of vehicles, from minicompact commuters to heavy-duty trucks



8 Responses to “Tidal Wave of Spending on EVs”

  1. earl Says:

    I guess we can thank Elon Musk for pushing this up the agenda by a decade or more. He deserves a Nobel Prize or something…

  2. neilrieck Says:

    I was at a family get-together over the weekend where one of my cousins drove up in a brand new White Chevy Volt (not Bolt). This machine has a gasoline backup which my cousin has only filled up once in the past six month. But the thing was totally silent yet had lots of torque.

    • Sir Charles Says:

      Achieving the 1.5 degree target, scientists have concluded, “requires that net global CO2 emissions fall to zero by the middle of the century. Scenarios that achieve this would see coal phased out, renewable energy become the dominant source of electricity by 2050, and rapid cuts made to non-CO2 drivers of warming, including methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons. Different pathways—including those that see warming temporarily overshoot 1.5 degrees Celsius and return later in the century—will have different implications for climate impacts, sustainable development and equity.”

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    There is also the basic economic problem that the cheapening of gasoline will buoy demand in itself.

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