Widespread, if not total, electrification of automotive production is heading to the industry, but pinning down exactly when electric vehicles will dominate U.S. sales depends on who you ask.
Despite automakers' and politicians' sweeping electric vehicle aspirations, there is no clear picture on where EV adoption and infrastructure will be in 2030 or 2040.
President Joe Biden sketched out a timeline — asking automakers and the UAW to embrace his vision for half of all U.S. new-vehicle sales to be zero-emission by 2030. He got Congress to fund an infrastructure plan that includes $7.5 billion for EV charging stations and $65 billion to upgrade the nation's electric grid.
But the president's target is not binding in any way. And the failure — at least so far — to advance his Build Back Better plan means that federal incentives for EV sales are poised to diminish much faster than the cost of batteries.
Most automakers say they are in alignment with Biden's market-share goal and targeting carbon neutrality between 2040 and 2050. Several brands are promising to convert their entire lineups to electric vehicles by 2030 or even sooner.
With investors in an EV frenzy ballooning automaker stocks from about $1 trillion to nearly $3 trillion in just two years, it's no surprise that automakers would tell them what they want to hear.
But some suppliers — even those with big electrification hopes of their own — suggest a more modest pace of adoption.