Stefan Jacoby is the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. He told Automotive News it is his view that it will take electric cars 35 year to gain a significant share of the global automotive market.
The obstacle? Infrastructure.
Jacoby argues "What would happen if 50 million new electric customers would plug their electric cars in an electric socket? There is no country on earth that is really properly prepared for electric cars."
Of course VW has bet on diesel, and already 30% of new Jettas sold in the US use clean diesel technology.
He thinks it is unrealistic that people will adopt electric cars in mass number, and believes electric motors aren't yet "properly developed." Resigned to the fact "We have to live for a certain period with fossil fuel engines," Jacoby thinks optimization of those engines are the best near term plan.
This may or may not be the case.
Technological advances tend to happen abruptly. Remember the the Internet in 1992?
Studies have also concluded the current US electric grid could handle up to 50 million electric cars, with charging absorbed by considerable excess capacity in off peak times. It may be true that less developed countries will have a longer way to go to adopt electric cars as they are only now beginning to adopt petroleum powered ones, however it is possible that electric cars could be the starting point for those populations. For example Tata Motors which make the world's cheapest car in India, the Nano, is planning an electric version. China too has its own low budget electric car, the BYD FD3M already on the market.
The rate of current US automotive fleet replacement is about 7 million cars per year. Since the total fleet is about 100 million, if half of them are replaced with electrics, then in 10 years 35% of the US auto fleet could be elctric.
True, it may take time for electric cars to make significant ground, but 35 years is pushing it. Sorry Mr. Jacoby, you can keep your diesels. No Plug No Sale.
Source (Automotive News)