Distinguished automotive brands are not in danger of going bust as such, however the products they have been building over the past decade are. For example, in the place of the fossil-fuelled car comes hybrids and electric vehicles, fueled by further stress on the environment. Many automakers were too hesitant in the beginning, which allowed rivals and newcomers to get off the mark quicker and thus have a head start in the race to EV success. Now, before it is too late, we need to change over to electrified powertrains, in order to create a cleaner climate and increase efficiency in modern vehicles.
However, only last month Volvo became the first ‘conventional’ automaker to announce that every vehicle it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, which has foreshadowed the end of the internal combustion engine and signalled the boom in electrification at the heart of automotive businesses. This will spark a trend with global automakers, representing one of the most significant moves in the shift to electrification and a fresh perspective in the automotive industry. Another automaker that is pushing further into the EV market is BMW, which could be introducing an electric 3 Series to compete with Tesla at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The German automaker, which has completely changed its image over the last three years with its BMWi division, is driving its business into the emerging market with a number of EVs set for production over the next decade, including the all-electric BMW X3 in 2020 and the BMW iNEXT autonomous car in 2012. This is not just great news for BMW, but for the entire industry, as competition will inevitably heat up and increase EV adoption around the world.
A day after Volvo’s announcement, the French government declared that it would end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, in order to meet targets under the Paris climate accord. This again reinforces the end of conventional fuels, as other countries around the world also look into introducing bans on petrol and diesel cars over the next decade. Norway, for example, which has the highest percentage of EVs in the world, has set a target of only selling 100% electric or plug-in hybrid cars by 2025, a leading region in the development of electrification. Alongside India, with serious air pollution issues, and the UK, through its ultra low emission scheme, decisions like this will enable the EV shift to be effective on a global level, thus improving both infrastructure and the overall attraction to electrification.
So, we will soon see the final nail in the coffin as the internal combustion engine’s reign finally comes to an end. Governments around the world are taking action on a topic that has already been left in the shadows too long, but are pushing automakers to adapt and help support our environment. With this push for EVs from automakers which typically focused on petrol and diesel cars, this is the beginning of the journey for the mobility revolution.
Alex Kreetzer - Editor