Electric cars are gradually getting more attention, although they are still not mainstream in 2017. But a steady stream of announcements and developments have made it clear that electric cars won't just occupy a narrow niche in about a decade. Several automakers have announced they have new fully-charged and hybrid models on the horizon, which is what my latest cartoon called "The Unstoppable Green Car Revolution" represents.
Ford announced in early October 2017 that one third of its capital devoted to combustion engines would shift toward investing in electric cars. The automaker also said it would release 13 new electric models within the next five years. Then GM announced in a press release that it "believes in an all-electric future." The company said it was accelerating its transition to electric cars with about 20 new models due by 2023.
Toyota announced in September 2017 its partnership with Mazda and auto parts supplier Denso to work as a team building electric vehicles. This new joint venture is called EV Common Architecture Spirit Company and will produce a wide range of vehicles from small cars to SUVs.
Anyone who thinks there's no way electric cars will take over or that they're impractical needs to step back and look at the big picture. One of the reasons that electric cars are popular in Norway is that owners enjoy tax breaks, lower highway tolls and free parking. There is no shortage of charging stations across the country. So it's already been proven that society can adapt to this cleaner, more efficient technology.
Other compelling evidence that the green car revolution is not only here to stay, but speeding up, is that California Governor Jerry Brown has raised the issue of banning the sale of combustion engine cars in the future (as early as 2030). Earlier in September 2017 China announced that it plans on banning fossil fuel engines in the future. The UK and France have also talked about banning conventional petroleum-powered cars by 2040.
In August 2017 Business Insider reported on a variety of affordable electric cars by 2020. While there will still be luxury models over $50,000, the Tesla Model 3 began selling in July at $35,000. That's a little less than the Chevy Bolt. Volvo announced earlier in the year it would release its first electric model in 2019 for about $40,000. The 2017 Nissan Leaf had a retail price around $30,000. The 2018 model is expected to double its mileage per charge to 200.
Other electric vehicles on the way will come from Honda, BMW, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and Aston Martin.
Consumers will have plenty of EV choices in the next decade. Even for those who cannot afford new EVs, by then there should be good deals on used EVs. The point is, EVs will someday be common and won't require your life's savings, nor will it be hard to find charging stations. Batteries will get stronger every year as well. Meanwhile, several of the world's most powerful nations are preparing for a transition to cleaner energy. So expect greener cars to eventually become the norm.