The armada of battery-electric vehicles starting to fill dealer showrooms won't make a significant impact on sales of internal combustion engine vehicles until 2025.
"If we define the tipping point to be the time when we see ICE vehicles go down and that [decline] be taken up by EV, in 2025 is when that transition will start to happen globally and in the U.S. EV sales will remain relatively flat until that time," said Kiran Govindswamy, vice president of drivetrain, vehicle engineering and noise, vibration and harshness at FEV North America.
While electric motors, power electronics and other EV-specific technologies are ready for mass production, several panelists said the price of EVs will have to be commensurate with that of internal combustion engine vehicles and consumers will need to be confident in their ability to charge the vehicles away from home before EVs start threatening the more than centurylong reign of the gasoline engine.
That could take a few years.
FEV's internal data projects that EVs will not be cost competitive with ICE vehicles until about 2028, when the cost of EV batteries reaches $100 per kilowatt hour, down from about $137 today.
General Motors is on a faster schedule. The company is investing $27 billion to bring more than 30 EVs to market by 2025, some with as much as 450 miles of stated range.
"For the women and men of General Motors, that's our mission. We're looking to make that happen as absolutely fast as possible," said Dan Nicholson, GM's vice president of electrification, controls, software and electronics.