Auto Execs: Maybe Elon Musk and Tesla had it right all along
Has Big Auto finally come around to the Tesla way of thinking? According to Tree Hugger*, "In past instances of technological disruption (the shift from landlines to cell phones, for example), insiders and experts within the incumbent industries were often more—not less—likely to miss the disruption that was coming. At some point, however, the disruption becomes inevitable, and those incumbents will start scrambling to stay relevant... [and] a new survey of auto executives from KPMG suggests we may be reaching that point."
Above: The all-electric Tesla vehicles, Model S and Model X (Image: Electrek)
What were the KPMG's survey findings? A shocking, "90% of [auto] executives surveyed expect battery electric vehicles (EVs) to dominate by 2025... [and] 93% of those surveyed plan to invest in EVs over the next five years." Okay, we've heard these pronouncements before. And, we've been seeing flashy all-electric concept cars for years. That said, we've seen very little in the way of long-range production electric vehicles from these auto industry giants. Nevertheless, these findings prove that — perhaps — top industry execs are beginning to agree with the Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] philosophy of moving towards an all-electric future. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk has certainly said as much...
Above: In 2015's documentary film 'Pump', Elon Musk forecasted a future with electric vehicles dominating transport while naysayers disagree (Youtube: Pump the Movie)
Whether or not the EV impact is as extreme as Musk forecasts or as minor as some energy bigwigs claim, the study from KPMG did reveal that: "62% [of auto executives] believe diesel technology is becoming obsolete." And after reviewing the study, UK's The Independent reported that, "mass adoption of electric cars will send diesel extinct." John Leech of KPMG explains, "Improvements in the cost and range of battery technology, coupled with growing concern over the emission of both carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides from diesel engines, means that almost the whole automotive industry believes that the mass adoption of electric cars will happen during the next decade."
Above: The all-electric Tesla Model S (Instagram: jonahweiland)
This is certainly encouraging news, especially in light of recent diesel-gate scandals. Nevertheless, talk is cheap. CNET reports this week that, "GM and Honda plunge $85M into hydrogen fuel cell push." So even though the auto execs continue to extol the virtues of battery electric vehicles and show off all-electric concept cars, if you follow the money... many big players are still mistakenly investing in hydrogen fool cells in order to keep the future firmly tied to the gas pump.