There have been countless stories and reports over the past several years about how electric cars will soon supplant the gas-driven automobile. There seems, however, to be noticeable absence of critical thinking among tech-hungry investors, securities analysts and financial journalists on the subject.
One shouldn’t be too harsh, though, on the ubiquity of thinking that prevails among financial journalists. Auto executives are no less swayed by electric car conventional wisdom and exhibit the same lack of skepticism on the topic as reporters.
Projections for when the transition will actually occur have run the gamut from the year 2020 to 2030 and beyond. In short, no one knows, or can predict with any certainty, when electric cars will outnumber gasoline-powered autos.
Automobile manufacturers worldwide have announced nearly 75,000 layoffs over the past year. But here is the interesting reason for the downsizing: it is all related to the tepid demand on the part of buyers for electric vehicles. Indeed, it could be said with some measure of accuracy that an enormous gap has opened up between auto executives’ belief in the market potential for electric cars and a dearth of consumers lining up to purchase automakers’ shiny new objects.
Instead of retaining workers who can build cars consumers want, auto executives are reducing their labor costs on a hunch that electric cars’ lower production costs will support their precipitous reductions in the workforce. What happens if they are wrong?
For electric car aficionados, here are some sobering figures: For every eight pickups sold in America, there is only one purely electric vehicle sold.
Many of the same individuals who are now predicting an all-electric vehicle future within the next decade similarly assured us that autonomous vehicles were destined to displace the internal combustion engine in and around urban hubs within the next decade. For many urban planners, gasoline-powered vehicles were destined to join the horse and buggy