Here is a recent article in the highly recommended German newspaper DIE ZEIT, for those who can read German, here is the link:
And for those who can not understand German, here is my translation:
Future scientist expects breakthrough for EVs soon
The demand for ICEs will collapse massively by 2016, saqys future sicientist Lars Thomsen. He compares the triumph of e-mobility with preparing popcorn
According to Lars Thomsen automotive industry is like a heated pan full of popcorn. Several minutes nothing happens – but when the oil comes to a temperature of 163 degrees (Celsius) the change comes very fast, and the corn changes tompopcorn within seconds. Something similar is just happening to the carindustry - from ICEs to EVs.
And the first corn has already changed. The success of Teslamarks the begin of a change that will be irreversible. "The car industry nowadays experinces more change than in the 50 years before", said Thomsen recently at a meeting for e-mobility. Thomsen ha specialized in prognosting so-called Tipping Points, i.e. points where whole industries undergo extreme changes. Big companies can collapse if they miss them.
Examples can be found, when lloking at the market for moblie phones: just recently the former market leader had to sell his mobile phone business for small money to Microsoft. Another example are the German TV manufacturers, they missed the trend going to flat screens. or take the fate of Kodak: digital foto technology killed the analogue Kodak technology.
Thomsen: "May industries in the past made themselves believe, that a new technology will not succeed, that the consumers do want to have it and that their position is invincible, But their sceptical view from today might be their collapse tomorrow. Right at this point the car industry is today.
Companies as Nissan, BMW and Tesla are researching e-technology for cars and develop completely new cars only driven by electricity, while Mercedes, Volkswagen and especially Toyota still stick to the ICE (sometimes as hybrid). This might show as a big mistake. "Already in 2016 the demand for ICEs will decrease massively", Thomsen prophecies.
Two essential problems of EVs - price and range - are, according to Thomsen, solved, due to fast technological progress and falling prices. A battery would then cost only 120 Dollar per KWh. Right now Tesla still has a price of about 200 Dollar. Furtheron, in 2016 there will be much more charging stations in Germany – in the next weeks Tesla will open the first superchargers in Germany. BMW will also start witth charging points.
ICEs - so Thomsen - willl then no longer have advantages. Like analogue photography, CRT displays and mobile phones with push buttons the ICE technology would be outrun.
Such prognostic projections are of course not scientfically calculated. But there are signs enough to see. In Northern America Tesla is selling more high-priced cars than their competitors. 10,100 Tesla cars have been sold there Autos in the first six months of 2013, compared to about 6,000 Mercedes S-class or 3,600 Audi A8. In Norway Tesla is on top of all new cars, even in front of the Volkswagen Rabbit (Golf), but also due to massive tax advantages for EVs.
This success will even accelerate in the next years, Thomsen beleives. The market might then become so attractive, that three or four car manufacturersmight step in, that nobody can see in the present. Elektronic companies like LG and Samsung might start in this business field. They have no knowledge of complex ICEs, but have enough know-how when it comes to batteries and electonics.
Already in 2015 EVs might achieve a market share of five percent. And 2016 in the demand for ICEs might decrease massively - and, by the way, also for hybrids, Thomsen sees the end for them in 2018.
The discussion for lower CO2-limits in the European community might - retrospectively - then be obsolet. ICEs with bad exhaust data will not have a future at all, according to Thomsen's prognoses.