American consumers aren’t quite ready to give up on the internal-combustion engine, and automakers know that. But, across the world, China is aggressively pushing battery-electric cars with a range of incentives on EVs and restrictions on fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.
Bloomberg published its latest outlook for the electric-car industry on Monday, and it will be China that leads the way on said “new-energy vehicles.” Thus, General Motors’ future product plans don’t reflect the U.S. market—it’s all about Asia.
“China will continue to be the pivotal factor that drives the fast popularization of electric vehicles globally,’” said Nannan Kou, a senior associate at BNEF in Beijing and an author of the forecast.
GM has plans to introduce 20 new battery-electric cars by 2023, and the aggressive product onslaught has China in its sights. While China will lead the market, the U.S. will slowly, but surely, pick up steam, too. Bloomberg’s report predicts the mid-2020s will bring a seismic shift in new-car sales that skew toward electric vehicles as they reach cost parity with traditional vehicles. By 2040, half of new cars sold will be electric.
The shift is already present today. In China, consumers bought 72,000 EVs in April this year. In the U.S., EV sales rang in at 19,700. And with the EV strategy, China will prepare to set up shop as a world power in the automotive and battery industry.
Will we likely see all 2o electric cars GM has planned here in North America? Potentially, but the focus is, and always has been, on China.