EV Revolution: Will Some Manufacturers Get Left Behind?

A new EV is announced nearly every month, either from a manufacturer entering the industry or adding to their current EV line-up. But there are still manufacturers with no electric vehicles on the market, and no plans to make any. Research suggests that a tipping point for EV sales is near, so without EVs, will these manufacturers get left behind?

Automotive Industry

A recent think tank report stated that internal combustion vehicles, as a platform, would be nonexistent by 2024. If this is true, what does it mean for manufacturers that, so far, have no plans to release an EV?

The majority of the top 10 automotive companies already have an electric vehicle in production or plans to make one. Some major manufacturers, like Toyota, still don’t make an all-electric vehicle. But these manufacturers are in a better position than small-to-medium-sized manufacturers that still have no EV platform.

Subaru, for example, is a manufacturer that needs to develop and release an EV if it’s to survive. Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of Subaru cars, is aware of the issue and said:

We’ll be sure to comply with regulations. But at the same time, the overall industry is now shifting its electrification focus toward EVs. We are in the age where we cannot just go on launching EVs only as regulation compliance cars.

Adapt and Survive

This year, Daimler AG announced they would stop selling gas powered Smart cars. Smart, one of the automotive industry’s smaller brands, may be taking preemptive action to ensure they survive the EV revolution.

With revenue in the industry expected to drop from $1.5 trillion in 2015 to $393 billion in 2030, there will be casualties. Manufacturers need to adapt to survive the changing automotive landscape. Audi, for example, recently announced that they will be releasing one new EV per year for the next three years.

Ultimately, it’s the introduction of autonomous EVs that will have a major impact on the automotive industry. Meaning manufacturers will need to pivot and offer ride-sharing services. Companies like Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW, and GM are just some of the automakers that have already invested in ride-sharing companies.

The pot could be about to get a lot smaller for automakers, especially for the ones that don’t adapt to market changes.

Do you think some longstanding auto manufacturers will fail to adapt and, as a result, fail to survive? Or maybe you think the autonomous EV revolution won’t cause this much disruption? Either way, let us know.

By Robert Bacon
Updated: July 16, 2017