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Audi leader projects future for electric cars

February 21, 2020
"I think the best and easiest way to describe what’s happening in the automotive industry today is to describe it as the Wild West. It took a full five years to sell the first million electric vehicles. After that, it took a year and a half. And then 10 months. And then six months.
 
"Today, there’ve been over 7 million e-vs sold across the globe, a truly astronomical number given that, in 2011, no market existed," said Cody Thacker, head of electrification for Audi of America. "By the end of 2020, we expect we’ll reach the 10 million mark."
 
Thacker was the keynote speaker Feb. 6 at the monthly Economic Club of Chicago luncheon, which for the past 10 Februarys has convened at McCormick Place during the Chicago Auto Show’s media preview.
 
"Now," he continued, "we’re to the point where a million electric vehicles will be sold across the globe every four months."
 
Thacker projected that electric vehicles will hold a 60 percent market share in the U.S. by 2040, meaning that 4 in 10 vehicles sold then will have internal combustion engines.
 
He identified four barriers to greater acceptance of electric vehicles: cost, range, charging availability, and apathy. "We want to think people are driven by environmental concerns when making a vehicle purchase," Thacker said. "But the fact of the matter is, they’re simply not."
 
But the other three barriers might be easier to surmount. While electric vehicles today carry a higher price point than their ICE counterparts, Thacker said falling costs for battery packs will bring price parity by 2025. Also, he said, "public charging infrastructure is catching up, and catching up fast."
 
As for range, he said the average commute for workers is 30 miles, adding, "When you only drive 30 miles a day, a vehicle with a 200-mile range becomes very practical."
 
 

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