Beyond the cost for purchasing parts, the AlixPartners study estimated “by 2023 a whopping $255 billion in R&D and capital expenditures (will be) spent globally on electric vehicles, and that some 207 electric models are set to hit the market by 2022.” The problem, a summary of the report concluded, is that “many of them destined to be unprofitable due to currently-high systems costs, low volumes and intense competition.”
“We have to reduce the amount of money everybody’s pouring in,” echoed Don Walker, CEO of Canada-based mega-supplier Magna International, during a mid-January speech to the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.
For EV proponents, the good news is that U.S. sales of plug-based models nearly doubled last year, from 199,818 in 2017, according to InsideEVs.com, to 361,307.
In China, where new energy vehicle rules are meant to foster demand for zero-emissions vehicles, sales grew even faster. In December 2018 alone, Chinese consumers purchased 181,385 plug-ins during December alone, reports the EV Sales Blog, a 70 percent jump. For all of 2018, Chinese sales came to 1,102,375.
Even so, plug-ins and pure electrics still accounted for barely 4 percent of the Chinese market, and 2 percent of the American. And a closer look could leave one still more skeptical.
In the U.S., only the Tesla Model 3 — of all the electrified models now on the market — is currently selling more than 10,000 a month, noted Toyota’s North American CEO, Jim Lentz. And of the 94 “electrified” vehicles currently on the market — including hybrids, as well as plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles — only six top 2,000 a month.