Whether we like it or not, electric vehicles are here to stay.
Thanks to the success of Tesla, electric vehicles are no longer a niche science project.
Numerous startups and even legacy automakers have followed the lead of Elon Musk's company to develop EVs, and they're getting better and better with each passing year. But if you look at any freeway in almost any country, combustion-powered cars still dominate the landscape for several reasons, among which are infrastructure and cost issues.
That is set to change globally thanks to legislation that could outlaw the internal combustion engine unless carbon-neutral alternative fuels can be developed. The world's automakers are sinking fortunes into research and development.
According to a Reuters analysis of public data and projections from the world's leading automakers, almost $1.2 trillion will be spent on developing and manufacturing EVs through 2030.
The report notes that this figure is more than double the aggregate spending calculation a year ago and that automakers predict building 54 million battery electric vehicles in 2030, which is more than 50% of total vehicle production.
To support these EVs, automakers and their battery partners plan to install 5.8 terawatt-hours worth of battery production capacity by the end of the decade.
Tesla is expected to lead this charge (pun intended), with Musk planning to build 20 million EVs in 2030. This will require an estimated 3 TWh of batteries alone. Meanwhile, Volkswagen is expected to spend over $100 billion on EVs and its manufacturing facilities, while Toyota is investing $70 billion and expects to sell at least 3.5 million BEVs in 2030.
Ford continues to spend more and more, with a figure of $50 billion currently earmarked for EVs and at least 240 gigawatt-hours of battery capacity with its partners. This will translate to roughly 3 million BEVs in 2030, half of the Blue Oval's total volume.
Mercedes-Benz will spend at least $47 billion on EV development and production, while BMW, Stellantis, and General Motors have each set aside at least $35 billion for EVs and batteries.
These figures relate to everything from sourcing raw materials to building factories and setting up infrastructure, as well as the obvious production of vehicles.
While the Tesla Model S may be viewed by many as the symbol of guilt-free high-performance motoring, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, synthetic fuels, and even gas-powered engines will be explored for many years to come, but with so much money invested in EVs, the industry as a whole seems to view electric mobility as the only way forward.