How quickly will electric vehicles replace the gas-burning kind? Estimates are all over the map: we greenies like to think that the tipping point will arrive in a couple of years; fossil fuel fans tend to believe the transition will take decades. What do auto execs think?
President Joe Biden recently set an aspirational target for 50% of US auto sales to be EVs by 2030, and a new survey from consulting firm KPMG (as reported by CNBC) found that many auto industry executives consider it a realistic goal.
KPMG conducted the survey of 1,118 global executives in August. The majority of respondents were CEOs and other C-level executives. Some were from automakers, and some were from top-tier suppliers. Their estimates of what market share EVs would achieve by 2030 varied widely, from 20% to 90%, but on average, the respondents expect 52% of new vehicle sales in the US, Japan and China to be all-electric by 2030.
“There seems to be more general optimism toward EVs than even 12 months ago,” Gary Silberg, Global Head of Automotive at KPMG, told CNBC. “This is probably due to the billions of dollars of freshly committed capital and the bevy of new vehicles coming into the market.”
Above: CNBC's Jim Cramer provides his take on the fast-growing electric vehicle sector (YouTube: CNBC Television)
The execs made some economic assumptions to support their forecasts—73% of respondents expect that EVs will reach cost parity with ICE vehicles by 2030, and while 77% believe EV adoption can take place without government subsidies, 91% said they still support such programs.
Unsurprisingly, charging infrastructure is seen as one of the main obstacles to EV adoption for consumers. Some 77% of KPMG’s respondents said that consumers will require fast and convenient charging—under 30 minutes—for road trips.
The survey did not refer to any particular companies by name, but it did ask about the importance of the new wave of EV startups. More than 60% of the respondents said the current crop of young automakers will have at least “a moderate impact” on the global auto market—some may be acquired, and others may find profitable niche markets. Another 31% of respondents said the startups are likely to have “a major impact.” Not all have such a sunny outlook—8% said most or all of the startups will go belly-up.