|'Real products' will boost EV sales in 2021, says former Ford CEO Fields|
Electric vehicle sales will rise "significantly" in 2021, according to former Ford CEO Mark Fields.
Fields, who left Ford in 2017, is a senior adviser to TPG Capital, an investment firm based in Fort Worth, Texas, and San Francisco. He spoke with Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein at this month's Automotive News Shift Mobility Forum during CES.
"I know the industry has been talking about the growth of electric vehicles," Fields said. "But the bottom line is you have real products coming to the marketplace now beyond just Tesla."
He pointed to the arrival of vehicles such as the Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID4 crossovers, as well as offerings from EV startups such as Rivian.
Fields said he believes consumers will buy these new EVs. One reason: The Biden administration is likely to enact incentives quickly to encourage sales of full-electric vehicles.
"I think, secondly, you're going to see the continued build-out of charging stations across the country." With more infrastructure in place, consumers will get more comfortable about buying a battery-electric vehicle, even if they don't have a garage where they can charge overnight, Fields said.
"I also think the last thing that's going to turbocharge some of the growth in electric vehicles is what I call the neighbor effect. If you think about Tesla, that was really about early adopters. Now we're getting to mass adoption. And if you see your neighbor that all of a sudden has an electric vehicle, that, at a minimum gives you permission, if you will, to go and buy one as well.
"And it's not just a science project that's out there in the marketplace."
-- Leslie J. Allen