If you're an auto supplier, the consensus today is that you need to go electric or go the way of the dinosaurs.
After all, every day seems to bring more confirmation that the electric vehicle era is just around the corner. Big automakers are pledging to phase out new gasoline models in 10 to 15 years, the U.S. government is ramping up support for the transition and investors can't get enough of Tesla and newer upstart EV players.
Take a closer look, though, and it becomes apparent that the hype around electric vehicles is outpacing reality in many key areas.
Any idea that roads in the U.S. and other major nations will be dominated by battery-electric vehicles in 20 years' time is fantastical given the substantial obstacles the industry faces and the huge fleets of combustion engine cars on the road today.
This means that suppliers and investors, even automakers themselves, have more flexibility than most assume when it comes to charting the future. That isn't to say that the transition to electric won't happen as pressure mounts to reduce carbon emissions. It will. But the pace of that change will be significantly slower and less smooth than the hype suggests; the industry supporting the internal combustion engine still has plenty of runway.