Most Auto Industry Execs Merely Hedging Bets with Electric Car Investments

By · January 05, 2012

Electric vehicle

A survey shows that auto industry execs see only modest potential for plug-in vehicles, but most will still invest in the technology.

A new worldwide survey of automotive industry executives reveals that the vast majority of execs only see modest potential for electric vehicles sales, but most will invest just in case the plug-in segment heats up.

The survey, conducted by US-based financial consulting firm KPMG LLC, found that two-thirds of automotive executives believe that hybrid and electric vehicle sales will account for only six percent of total automotive sales in the US and Europe by 2025. This stands in sharp contrast to leaders in the electric car space, such as Nissan-Renault's Carlos Ghosn, who believes 10 percent of his companies' vehicles will be pure electric by 2020.

Here are key findings from the anonymous survey of 200 automotive executives:

  • 81 percent anticipate strong investments in battery technology.
  • 85 percent believe automakers will heavily invest in electric motor production/
  • 76 percent expect significant investments in electronics for electric vehicles.

Since most of the surveyed execs don't expect the plug-in vehicle segment to grow significantly by 2025, Gary Silberg, national auto industry leader for consulting firm KPMG, suggests, "They are hedging their bets. They are saying that we don't know yet what the winning vehicle technology will be for the future, and so they are going to invest in all of it and let the market decide." Furthermore, Silberg says that predicting the future of the automotive industry is difficult and claims that investments are "a gamble."

New to EVs? Start here

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