Volkswagen's upcoming ID4 compact crossover, a Tiguan-sized BEV that U.S. dealers will begin selling by the end of the year, is an example of a BEV that will look and feel familiar, with a much-improved driving experience, Krause said.
"There are lots of people waiting on the fence right now with EVs, and Volkswagen is going to come in right in the middle of the market with a vehicle that's not quite as out there as a Tesla and not as expensive, and with a trusted brand," Krause said.
Overcoming shoppers' range anxiety will require reasoning with them about their average commutes while also showing them the growing nationwide network of fast charging stations, Krause said.
Jörg Trampler, head of car powertrain technology at supplier ZF Friedrichshafen's Engineering Center North America in Northville, Mich., said automaker electrification strategies vary widely, which requires a large supplier such as ZF to offer a wide range of solutions. But he predicted that other mechanical gains are in the cards for battery-electric powertrains.
Those, along with improved battery technology, would greatly improve range in coming years. ZF has introduced a two-speed e-drive that makes EVs more efficient and increases driving range.
ZF will no longer make automatic transmissions that aren't at least hybrid-ready, Trampler said.