The auto industry is poised for some big changes in 2022. According to Jack Ewing and Neal E. Boudette at The New York Times, "Battery-powered cars are having a breakthrough moment... Their arrival represents the biggest upheaval in the auto industry since Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908."
"Sales of cars powered solely by batteries surged in the United States, Europe and China last year, while deliveries of fossil fuel vehicles were stagnant. Demand for electric cars is so strong that manufacturers are requiring buyers to put down deposits months in advance," according to NYT.
Furthermore, "rapid growth could make 2022 the year when the march of battery-powered cars became unstoppable, erasing any doubt that the internal combustion engine is lurching toward obsolescence."
“It’s one of the biggest industrial transformations probably in the history of capitalism,” said Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “The investments are massive, and the mission is massive.”
Take Ford's forthcoming F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck as a prime example of the industry's transition to electric. “We’re going to be able to sell every one we can build,” says Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer.
Regardless of all the rhetoric, who's really winning this EV race? According to NYT, "The biggest beneficiary — and the biggest threat to the established order — is Tesla. Led by Elon Musk, the company delivered nearly 1 million cars in 2021, a 90% increase from 2020."
That said, the real winner will be our lungs. And, of course, the environment.
NYT reports, "Tailpipe emissions are among the largest contributors to climate change." Furthermore, "as extreme weather makes the catastrophic effects of climate change more tangible, and word gets around that electric cars are easy to maintain, cheap to refuel and fun to drive, affluent buyers are increasingly going electric."
Cost comparisons, however, are surprising. It's reported that "electric vehicles are already competitive on price and could save buyers thousands on maintenance and gasoline. (Electric cars do not need oil changes, and electricity is generally cheaper per mile than gasoline.)"
For instance, "The Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar XF P250 sedans retail for around $46,000. But owning the Tesla for five years costs $16,000 less, according to calculations by Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation company."
In any event, "the electric car boom is already reshaping the auto industry... If Europe and China are any measure, sales of electric vehicles in the United States will continue to explode." So it's no surprise "young companies like Lucid, Rivian and Nio aim to follow Tesla’s playbook."
Source: The New York Times