Survey Says: Battery Electric Cars Are #1 Automotive Trend For 2017



According to a survey conducted by KPMG, 50% of the automotive executives who participated in the survey believe that battery electric vehicles will be the number 1 automotive trend in 2017.

Electric vehicles are followed by connectivity and digitalization in the survey results.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

This is a big jump for electric cars. back in 2015, in the same survey, battery electric vehicles ranked 9th in automotive trends.

Some other survey findings include:

  • 76 % of the executives see ICE as more important than electric far into the future
  • 62% either absolutely agree (22%) or partly agree (40%) that battery-electric vehicles will fail, mostly due to infrastructure challenges.

In regards to who the auto execs see as electric vehicle leader, BMW ranked #1, with Tesla in the 2 spot.

Oddly, BMW ranked ahead of Tesla in autonomous driving too, which makes the whole survey suspect, at best.

Check out KPMG’s full Global Automotive Executive Survey here.

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31 Comments on "Survey Says: Battery Electric Cars Are #1 Automotive Trend For 2017"

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I think it is important to note the dieselgate date with this chart. Things flipped after it.

I sense a European perspective from this survey (I.e. rationalization of production in Western Europe), but there is no link to the actual survey to confirm.

Hey Josh,

It’s linked in the first paragraph, but will add another hard link note at the bottom just to make more clear, (=

Well I guess that is my fault. I am conditioned at this point to check the bottom. Thanks for adding it.

Cell phone reading will be my excuse.

Ok just skimmed through the report. It was based out of Germany, but did a good job of reporting where the survey respondents came from both regionally and based on company type/size. Not going to repeat it here, but about 13% was North America and 31% Europe then rest of the world regionally. The strangest thing was the only question response related to BEVs other than the #1 rating of importance was, “62 % of executives absolutely or partly agree that BEVs will fail due to infrastructure challenges.”. Followed by, “78 % of executives absolutely or partly agree that FCEVs will be the real breakthrough for electric mobility.” I was stunned. And here is the rankings for EV leaders per the survey: 1. BMW 2. Tesla 3. Honda (What?) 4. Toyota (Prius legacy, I get it) 5. Mercedes 5. Ford 7. GM (getting really slighted on the Volt/Bolt efforts) 8. VW group (I guess these executives don’t read the press releases) 9. Fiat/Chrysler (we know one CEO that didn’t pick them) 10. Suzuki (Huh) Note that Nissan/Renault was not even on the damn list. How is that possible!?! No BYD either. No China company at all when they have the… Read more »

I worked a long time in the computer business as a programmer and then journalist, and trust me, the crap you see in research reports over there is light years worse than the stuff we complain about over here.

But having said that, you make a lot of really got points. How anyone could say BEVs will fail due to infrastructure issues but FCEVs will be a success is simply mind blowing. This smells like research that was intended to support a specific market plan.

Executives are stupid and don’t understand the technology. They probably think you can just easily swap out gasoline pumps for hydrogen pumps. Never mind that the Pumps are completely different, the tanks are completely different, the distribution trucks are completely different, the hydrogen synthesizing system is completely different, etc.

FCEVs are #3 with 47%, only 3% less than BEVs. No infrastructure challenges for FCEVs???

I agree Josh. Seems to be a very influenced by the respondents beliefs (in some cases alternative facts).

Honda at #3 for electrification? They currently have ZERO offerings in the US with a plug. And their FCEV just started selling in Jan at 42 units.

FCEV being the breakthrough technology? What a load of crock.

Well . . . Honda does have an Accord PHEV. But it is garbage PHEV with a pathetically small range and a relatively high price. So I’m not surprised you were not familiar with it . . . it is not worth considering.

Plus they discontinued it over a year ago.

Rick (no, not that Rick)

Honda is selling the Accord PHEV again in 2017. And the Fit EV is still on their website.

+1 PHEVfan

“78 % of executives absolutely or partly agree that FCEVs will be the real breakthrough for electric mobility.”

I think the issue here is “executives” as opposed to engineers. The executives don’t understand the technology that well. They just like the idea of keeping things familiar . . . the “300 to 400 miles range, fill-up at a station in 5 minutes, same old same old, etc.” The executives don’t understand things like fueling infrastructure, high-pressurization, difficulty of containing hydrogen, the cost synthesizing hydrogen, etc.

Fuel cells have been pushed by the car companies for some 30+ years now. They went down the wrong technology path and it took Silicon Valley (Tesla) to smack them hard and show them the right way to go.

Exactly since most executives don’t know jack about how things actually work.Plus many of these so called research companies are just paid shills for industries.

“78 % of executives absolutely or partly agree that FCEVs will be the real breakthrough for electric mobility.”

It’s stunning, and rather depressing, to see that a strong majority of auto execs are that ignorant regarding both science and basic economics, or at least pretend to be.

Lol yeah! We’re #1! Go team!

The high ranking of fuel cell cars is disturbing.

I think disturbing is the right word to use, yes.

I wasn’t aware until watching this very informative ad that the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell was powered by the severed heads of children. 🙂 I think? Something like that at least lol…

Most of the laggard OEMs would like ICE to continue as long as possible because IT IS their core competency and is very profitable for them and their Stealerships.

In other words, its their existing business model.

They know that Fool Cells are doomed because of the physics but see it as a way to delay the inevitable full electrification of light duty vehicles and this buys them time to transition their core competency to full electrification.

Another major miscalculation by these laggard OEMs is in the coming revolution that full autonomy will bring.

Tesla gets it and the laggard OEMs and their increasingly shrill shorters and shills carpet bombing their FUD here like tftf, zzzzz, agzand, etc don’t.

I think the oil companies are the ones that pushed fuel cells hard in order to:
1) Delay EVs; and
2) Possibly keep their filling station addiction with natural gas instead of oil.

The car company execs were just stupid.

I agree spec that Big Oil has the most to lose from full electrification so that H2 and Fool Cells are their preferred alternative.

At least for Auto OEMs, they will still have a product to sell once they fully electrify.

“They know that Fool Cells are doomed because of the physics but see it as a way to delay the inevitable full electrification of light duty vehicles and this buys them time to transition their core competency to full electrification.”

In what way do fool cell cars delay the transition to EVs? Fool cell vehicles are EVs every bit as much as BEVs are. Neither type of EV uses any ICEV tech.

You’d have a much better argument regarding PHEVs. Those are indeed a transitional, or compromise, stage between gasmobiles and pure electric cars aka BEVs.

The motors in a FCEV are powered by electricity, exactly like those in a BEV. Some EV “purists” don’t want to admit that FCEVs are actually EVs, but they most certainly are. The traction (drivetrain) motor in an EV doesn’t know, or care, whether the electricity which powers it comes from a battery pack or a fuel cell stack.

Well, duh. Now I see you merely meant auto makers are using promotion of fool cell cars as a political and/or propaganda campaign to delay the EV revolution, not that it had anything to do with the actual technology.

(Miss Emily Litella voice:) Nevermind!

Article quote: “…76 % of the executives see ICE as more important than electric far into the future…”

That’s the same as saying:

“76 % of the executives do not see EVs as more important than ICE far into the future”

Hence why the majority of traditional car makers are not all-in committed to compete against a Tesla…and why they have not yet seriously addressed supercharging network.

Let’s see what the survey says in three years when Tesla Model 3 starts seriously eating into the mid level luxury… probably won’t change much considering Model S is already #1 in large luxury sedan for United State & Western Europe.

I saw another report recently that suggested most CEOs now believe that a majority of new cars will be pure EV by 2025 (which seems fairly optimistic).

Quite a stark contracts to this one.

And that’s why we need to see the exact wording of the questions used on such surveys, as well as the methodology used. The results are meaningless without context. I think most people understand that you can easily sway the results of a poll depending on how questions are phrased. Survey results can also be greatly affected by encouraging only the “right” people to respond.

These CEOs are practicing the Group Think, or actually think they can warp peoples minds. That may be changing faster in the U.S., than Europe. Either way, its changing. They can fail to develop electric infrastructure, but it will be at their own squeaky peril.

Gas station franchises were created by companies which make and sell gasoline and diesel, not by companies which make and sell automobiles.

EV fast-charging franchises need to be created by companies which generate and sell electricity, not by companies which make and sell EVs.

Kudos to Tesla for jump-starting the ability to travel nationwide or continent-wide in a BEV, but I think it’s foolish to advocate that other auto makers should follow. In fact, it would be counter-productive if they did. That would lead to every individual auto maker having its own charging format, and no actual standard ever being developed.

Everyone creating their own standard would be bad. So they have some options:
1) Ignore the problem and hope other companies solve the problem.
2) License access to the Supercharger network.
3) Work with other Automakers and have an organized effort to build a coordinated SAE-CCS network.

I think (1) is risky and reckless. (2) is an option depending on how much Tesla charges them for access. (3) would be great and I’d like to see them do it . . . but so far, not much cooperation. :-/

By “developing infrastructure”, I include #3. Infrastructure’s best bidder is the one who profits. I get that, but don’t see the startup business model taking off without partnership. There’s already three formats for fast DC.

Whoa… #9 in 2015

FCVs #3… (sigh)
Maybe Toyota actually cares about dandelions growing in asphalt…