A "mountain" of battery-electric vehicles coming into the market this year likely will mean that 2021 will be the year that EVs break out and start grabbing larger percentages of new-vehicle sales in the U.S., the CEO of Volkswagen of America predicts.
Scott Keogh, who led Audi's launch of the E-tron in 2018 before moving to his current job as head of the VW brand that year, says the coming wave of EVs from automakers will translate to a shift among consumers.
"I think the trend is huge, and I don't use that word lightly. I think [when] we look back on 2021, in my opinion, this will be sort of the year EV broke," like the Beatles going on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964, Keogh said. "This is going to be the year."
Keogh spoke with Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein during the Automotive News Shift Mobility Forum, part of this year's all-virtual CES technology expo last week.
Keogh noted that EV sales grew in 2020 in the U.S., despite COVID-19 and the resulting shutdowns, and despite an overall market that dropped 14 percent. Keogh said VW's projections for 2021 are for a 70 to 80 percent increase in EV sales in the U.S., to somewhere "over 400,000, maybe 500,000 units. It will move from being under nearly 2 percent of the market to over 3 percent of the market."