The automotive world seems to be betting the farm on electric cars. A lot of people will be sadly shocked by the results.
Electric cars, hybrids and other types of electric-powered vehicles will play a part in the mix of propulsion systems that power the cars of tomorrow.
But the idea that electric cars will account for a major share of vehicles is wildly optimistic.
In the next 25 years, petroleum will still have the lion's share of powerplants, whether it's diesel or gasoline. After more than 100 years we have too much invested worldwide to replace the entire infrastructure in the space of a few decades. It's not going to happen.
Over the next few decades we'll see many different fuel systems powering our cars and trucks. Intercity and cross-country heavy-duty trucks will have totally different fuel systems.
A number of fuels will be used in the next 50 years, but to assume that most propulsion systems are going to be electric is misleading.
Many automobile manufacturers seem to be planning for a huge increase in market share for electric and electric-based vehicles. They and their dealers are in for a big surprise.
I would expect that suppliers will be touting the growth and huge market share for their products. That's simply good salesmanship.
But for anyone to assume that electric vehicles are going to sustain huge market shares is wrong.
There are too many people in government who are in love with electric vehicles.
But just as the representatives and senators who passed the health care legislation won't have to use it, the folks in Congress won't be interested in buying and using electric cars at home or in Washington. They will support all sorts of legislation to try to force U.S. consumers to embrace electric cars.
It won't work.
There will be a place in the mix of propulsion systems in the future for electric cars. But it will be a modest amount that makes the most sense in certain settings.
Anyone who plans for more than that is in for a rude awakening.