Automotive Research CEO Says Internal Combustion Engine Will Dominate Until 2035; We Say That’s Okay

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Peter Frise, CEO of Auto 21, a research division of the University of Windsor, expects internal combustion engines to continue to dominate the automotive scene until 2035.

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As Frise sees the future, both gas and diesel-burning automobiles will maintain their overall dominance for at least the next two decades.

Frise was discussing the slow rise of electric vehicles when he made these statements and we think his words were meant to come off negatively towards EVs, but we don’t see his statements as being cynical at all.

Quoting Frise as he was discussing EVs:

“You should never say never but it’s a very, very tough problem, there’s no question about that.  I think it’s going to cost a lot more money than people are prepared for right now.

“The battery itself can cost more than the rest of the car itself, put together. That’s just not something people can handle these days.”

“It all boils down to the battery. It’s all about energy storage.  Generating energy or transferring energy from one form to another is something mankind has been good at for quite some time. Storing electrical energy is not easy.”


Sure, Frise may not be the world’s leading EV proponent, but if we only have to wait until 2035 for the electric vehicle to outsell ICE, then that’s fine by us.

That’s only 22 years from now and, even though Frise was trying to knock on electric vehicles, his conclusion that ICE will remain king until 2035 sits well with us.  If his statements are accurate, then in just over two decades, the electric vehicle will outsell ICE.  Do you think that’s possible?

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13 Comments on "Automotive Research CEO Says Internal Combustion Engine Will Dominate Until 2035; We Say That’s Okay"

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Well rebutted article. Of course Frise is putting a negative spin on the data.

One statement that is still being sold regularly is “the battery (can) be more expensive than the car (and) you have to replace it at some point.” One only needs to be concerned with the cost at the end of the warranty. Now for some cab drivers this will be an issue bur for most the cost will probably be $200-$300/kWh and it will NOT be more expensive than the car.

Second and much more important is the fact that the battery may not be replaced at all. This is especially true with EREVs like the Chevy Volt. Off the lot you drive 38 miles on a charge and then 38 mpg with the gas extender as far as you want to drive. After a 100,000 miles you get 32-35 miles per charge and still 37-38 mpg on the extender. In the 100,000 mile used auto arena this battery will not be changed.

That is the positive spin on the (current) battery technology and it only gets better.

I think it is very possible for electric cars to outsell ICE cars by 2035. Electric cars have some definite advantages over ICE vehicles such as torque and greater flexibility with form factor as well as the obvious energy efficiency. The issues that were brought up that have to do with the battery are being dealt with in rather quick fashion. The only concern then is the same thing ICE car makers are concerned about now, and that is making a quality car that people will want to drive.

Eric, this isn’t AutoBlog. Stick with informative posts (with a bit of tongue in cheek) instead of trolling for page views trying to generate controversy.

I disagree. I think it is good to present here the conventional-wisdom “analysts” in a framing that highlights how mis- or dis-informed their attitude towards EVs is.

As to the actual question, I have a feeling it will happen before 2035. But surely by then. Less than a decade into the fringes of prime time, and the modern EV technology is already giving ICE a run for its money. Arguably 2013 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year in mainstreaming the EV, and this is huge because up till now the vast majority of people did not consider EVs to be something even remotely “normal”. From 2013 on, they will.

Only retarded states will still allow to register new ICE cars in 20 years.

That means Texas will allow ICE vehicles to register… and North Carolina…


ICE cars and EVs will peacefully coexist for quite some time after EVs become mainstream. Once EVs are cost competitive, they will force the oil market into a price equilibrium with electricity. When oil goes up, more people will move to electricity, reducing the demand for oil and forcing the prices back down. And vice versa. So everybody will be able to enjoy their favorite automotive experience without a cost differential. And you can continue to look down your nose at these “retarded states”.

Did he mean the science museums maybe?

Pigs will also fly

And bullshits like YOU will fly

Zero supporting evidence for Mr. Frise’s claim. No link to research data or

No consideration of the likely timeline for cheaper or higher energy-density batteries.

It must be Sunday.

I don’t have a worry with this data in that this sounds realistic. But personally I think anywhere between 2018 and 2025 is when EVs will be rocking and rolling due to the prices of batteries coming down and Tesla releasing their Generation III and other car makers trying to catch up to them. But I really think it boils down to when will a EV that can go 200 to 300 miles on a charge that is around $20,000 to $30,000 comes out with a 20 minute recharge time. When ever that car comes out that is when the EV’s will Flood the Market.

But the 900 pound Ogre in this debate is what will the world’s oil and gasoline supply do over the next 20 years such as if gas is $5.80 in the US and going up by 10 to 20 cents a week over top of that then EV’s will grow far faster then this. But if gas prices manage to some how stay with in a dollar of what they are at now EV’s might not grow as fast or in fact quite slowly.