General Motors CEO Mary Barra does not think that electric vehicles will become obvious choice for all customers any time before 2040. Her remarks come even as her company recently laid the foundation for an all-electric future with its new electric vehicle architecture and the largest collective EV charging network in the US.
In an interview recently, the GM CEO said, “We believe the transition will happen over time. It will happen in a little bit longer period, but it will happen." She also said that not every vehicle on the streets will be electric even in the next 20 years.
Her remarks come at a time when electric vehicle sales across the world has taken a hit due to the Covid-19 crisis. In the US, EV sales dropped by more than 50 per cent in April. In China, the world’s largest auto market, the demand for electric vehicles dropped by almost 60 per cent in February compared to the same month in 2019. And this slump happened despite several big carmakers, like Tesla, are now setting up plants or finding partners to launch ventures to capture the EV market in the Asian country.
(Also read: General Motors, Honda to jointly develop two new electric vehicles)
Bloomberg NEF predicts global EV sales to drop by 18 per cent this year at 1.7 million units. However, it also anticipates EV adoption will increase gradually in the next couple of decades. According to Bloomberg NEF, electric models will account for nearly 60 percent of all new passenger car sales by 2040, representing 31 percent of the entire car fleet. That is still way short of what General Motors CEO Mary Barra thinks.
Like several other major carmakers around the world, General Motors too has underscored its commitment to go all-electric in future. It has an impressive upcoming line-up of electric cars, besides the one already in the market - the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The company recently invested $2.2 billion at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, the carmaker’s first fully-dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant, to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs.
GM’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. The electric Hummer SUV is also expected to be launched soon. This will be followed soon after by the Cruise Origin, a shared, electric, self-driving vehicle.