Chrysler announced last week that it will become an all-electric vehicle company by 2028. This is a pretty big deal and, as I understand it, a first for the legacy US automakers. At this point, it now feels difficult to argue that this shift isn’t going to happen. Though I remember lots of people in the past asserting that the masses would never ever switch over to electric.
I guess that’s the status quo bias at work. Because if you flip the script and assume that the status quo is already electric (that is, we all come home after work, plug in our cars, and charge them up at low rates), it would be pretty hard to argue for a switch to gasoline-powered cars. Here, try this new thing. It’ll cost you more to fill up and you get to pollute the environment more. But hey, it sounds cool when you do a cold start.
Do we have Tesla to thank for exposing this?
Here’s some further evidence from the Exponential View.
In the UK last month (December 2021), 41% of new car registrations were electric or some kind of plug-in electric hybrid. That is up from 29% for the same period in 2020 (see above). Pure EVs also make up about 2/3 of these registrations and look to be picking up momentum. That’s certainly what I would expect to see when we revisit these numbers next year. The century of gasoline vehicles is coming to an end and it’s going to happen well inside of this decade.
When I was buying a new car back in 2018, I wanted to buy an electric vehicle. I don’t have a charging station in my parking garage, but I would have gotten one. The problem is that I couldn’t find the kind of car that I wanted in an electric version. And the ones that were available were pretty expensive. That has changed and is no longer the case. If I were buying today, it would certainly be an EV. The car would also have to change colors at the push of a button.
But, of course, the other element of change here is autonomy. And if/when that arrives, it will be far more disruptive than this shift to electric.