In the film 2040, filmmaker Damon Gameau speculated that by 2040 cars would become a stranded asset, as self driving took away the relevance of ownership. In a recent interview, a rusted on SUV driver proclaimed that electric cars would never out sell electric. The evidence seems to be that it's game up for fossil fuel guzzling cars and there are definitely signs of diminished car ownership, especially in more densely populated cities - and with more people working from home.
Many of the traditional car makers have announced full or partial plans to transition to electric vehicles.
The big competition in the EV space is for range, which seems to be around 400km - and better batteries. Tesla is the old guard in this space with by far the most experience. Tesla car entry level batteries give you 400km range and are designed to last 300,000-500,000 miles. Of course to date, very few batteries have been replaced. Volkswagen is very focused on transforming it's operations. Group CEO Herbert Diess sums up the industry's plans generally as he quotes his own:
“OUR TRANSFORMATION WILL BE FAST, IT WILL BE UNPRECEDENTED. THE TRANSFORMATION WILL BE BIGGER THAN ANYTHING THE INDUSTRY HAS SEEN IN THE LAST CENTURY.”
As cars become electric, smaller and less complex, the opportunity for smaller players is enormous. The car at the top of this article is an Altera. It is actually a solar electric car and it went to pre-order in the USA December 4th, 2020, priced from $25,900 to $46,900+. According to the makers, the car is radically light and wildly efficient. Inspired by fighter jets and race cars, Aptera's aerodynamic composites are many times stronger than steel. You pay more for the car as the range extends.
Welcome to the future. Low carbon, more competitive manufacturing and less need for cars. It's going to be a very interesting ride.