Many observers are forecasting that will take place much sooner than expected. Now, BBC is also joining the fray. "What makes the end of the internal combustion engine inevitable is a technological revolution. And technological revolutions tend to happen very quickly... [and] this revolution will be electric," reports BBC's Justin Rowlett.
Rowlett points to the late '90s internet revolution as an example. "For those who hadn't yet logged on [to the internet] it all seemed exciting and interesting but irrelevant - how useful could communicating by computer be? After all, we've got phones! But the internet, like all successful new technologies, did not follow a linear path to world domination... Its growth was explosive and disruptive," notes Rowlett.
So how fast will electric cars go mainstream? "The answer is very fast. Like the internet in the 90s, the electric car market is already growing exponentially. Global sales of electric cars raced forward in 2020, rising by 43% to a total of 3.2m, despite overall car sales slumping by a fifth during the coronavirus pandemic," reports the BBC.
According to Rowlett, "We are in the middle of the biggest revolution in motoring since Henry Ford's first production line started turning back in 1913."
Want more proof? "The world's big car makers think [so]... General Motors says it will make only electric vehicles by 2035, Ford says all vehicles sold in Europe will be electric by 2030 and VW says 70% of its sales will be electric by 2030."
And the world's luxury automakers are also getting in on the action: "Jaguar plans to sell only electric cars from 2025, Volvo from 2030 and [recently] the British sportscar company Lotus said it would follow suit, selling only electric models from 2028."
Rowlett spoke with Top Gear's former host Quentin Wilson to get his take on the electric revolution. Once critical of electric cars, Wilson adores his new Tesla Model 3 noting, "It is supremely comfortable, it's airy, it's bright. It's just a complete joy. And I would unequivocally say to you now that I would never ever go back."