As for the rest of the show …
With the exception of concept cars, few companies offered radically new exterior designs, the focus, instead, was on the technology inside. Connectivity, mobility, and battery power were common buzz words. As a result, autonomous and electric vehicles were an essential part of the show. Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Mercedes, VW, Toyota, Nissan, VW, Jaguar and Chrysler all offered EVs.
Ford’s offering was hardly unexpected. In 2015, the company committed $4.5 billion to developing 13 hybrid or electric vehicles by 2020, including a 300-mile electric SUV, and hybrid versions of the Mustang and F-150 pickup.
According to Crains,
- Tesla plans to sell 1 million EVs globally.
- Volkswagen expect to sell 2 to 3 million EV’s annually.
- Nissan predicts 20% of in sales in Europe.
- Ford forecasts that EVs will account for 15 to 20% of the Chinese market.
- Mercedes predicts 15 to 25% of the vehicles it sells globally will be powered by batteries.
- BMW has said the same but includes hybrids.
- Ford anticipates that 25% of all vehicles sold globally will get all or some of their power from a plug.
With the change of administrations, the future of electric vehicles in the US is murky. Despite aggressive new fuel standards from the Obama administration as well as state and federal rebates for electric vehicle purchases and conversions, the EV market suffered small declines in 2015 and 2016 as cheap fuel drove demand for gas-guzzlers such as pickups and SUVs. Plus, the Trump administration may rescind or reduce the 2025 fuel standards.
However, according to an article from Reuters by Laurence Frost, hitting the brakes on electric vehicle development in the US would not relieve the pressure to bring them to market. China and Europe are forging ahead with policies to expand sales of plug-in vehicles which should leave global carmakers and consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles. As a result, Industry execs believe electric vehicles will gain momentum in 2017 and fuel an investment surge.
As quoted by Reuters, “Car electrification is an irreversible trend,” said Jacques Aschenbroich, chief executive of auto supplier Valeo, which has expanded sales by 50 percent in five years with a focus on electric, hybrid, connected and self-driving cars.
That is why Ford is still moving ahead with its $4.5 billion investment in plug-in vehicles.