When Will Electric Cars Reach the Tipping Point?

Design News Senior Technical Editor, Electronics & Test Charles Murray interviews industry professionals to get opinions on when electric vehicles will become mainsteam.

Published: 06-Jan-2014

Some day, there could be a shiny new battery-powered car in your garage, ready to tote the family hundreds of miles before needing a high-voltage recharge. Or maybe not.

Experts, asked recently by Design News to describe the state of electric cars in 2025, were in agreement on only one point: No one knows. Next-generation electric vehicles might travel 300 miles between charges and cost just a few thousand dollars more than their gasoline-burning counterparts. Or they might serve as low-cost, short-range second cars. Or they might find their niche in the luxury end of the market, where the extra cost of the battery won’t matter as much.

“The battery is the still the wild card,” Thilo Koslowski, distinguished analyst for Gartner Inc., told us. “We believe that by 2030, about 15 percent of all vehicles will be battery-electric. But that assumes a steady advancement in battery technology.”

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