John Bozzella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, believes the speed with which Americans adopt EVs will come down to how well the country can build up its charging infrastructure. The alliance, which represents most automakers in the U.S. and many suppliers, in December released a list of recommendations for public charging stations in the U.S. to help bolster EV adoption, including the use of DC fast chargers and stations that can accommodate different vehicle designs.
"We're moving strongly in that direction," Bozzella said. "But it'll take a significant degree of engagement and partnership across the private sector.
"In addition to auto manufacturers and suppliers and dealers, it's going to take utilities and builders of residences and commercial buildings and fleet purchasers to step up. And it's going to require thoughtful engagement on the part of government at the local, state and federal level."
Their forecasts may differ, but ZF and Magna agree that North America will be slower to adopt EVs than Europe and China. ZF forecasts that EVs will account for 54 percent of Chinese vehicle production by 2030, while EV production in the European Union will account of 59 percent by then.
French supplier Valeo forecasts that about half the of the global new-vehicle market will be composed of EVs and other electrified vehicles by 2030. But the rate of adoption will vary greatly by market, said Geoffrey Bouquot, chief technology officer at Valeo, the world's 10th-largest automotive supplier.
"It depends on the different places and regulations," Bouquot said.