GM’s EV-focused keynote at the virtual CES this week was literally electrifying: an entirely new battery system, a new business unit dedicated to delivery solutions, a cool new EV Hummer, even a flying Cadillac air taxi. But perhaps more than all of the new product announcements, I especially appreciated Mary Barra’s stated goal for a world that has “zero emissions, zero crashes, and zero congestion.” It was a powerful statement that placed all this innovation in context: GM is working to make the world a better, safer place.
And that’s good news. We need more players in the EV market. While Tesla dominates it today, there is clearly plenty of room for more competition and innovation (Elon Musk said so himself!). The market research firm IDTechEx estimates that EVs will constitute 20 percent of the worldwide market by 2030, and up to 80 percent by 2040. At some point, EVs will constitute the entire automotive market. It’s just a question of when, not if.
Like most people, I’m very excited about our EV future. We have the opportunity to reinvent transportation, as well as make material progress on climate change. But if the auto industry just exchanges their combustion engines for electrical ones, and operates on a business as usual basis, they’ll be missing out on some huge opportunities.
Here are some other ideas that could make the EV market truly transformational: