2018 May Have Been The Best Year for Internal Combustion Engines Yet but It Doesn’t Mean What You Think
The trend towards electric and electrified vehicles, as well as other power alternatives to what we now call conventional engines (of the internal combustion variety), is clear and more and more of these vehicles are being sold each year. In fact, a recent report by the Financial Times states that even though the peak year for internal combustion-engined cars was expected to be 2022, it is now believed that the peak year was in fact 2018.
What the report is essentially saying is that starting in 2019 and moving forward, there will not be another year with as many internal combustion vehicle sales as 2018.
That’s not to say the total number of vehicles sold won’t increase (because it will) but more and more of these new vehicles will either be electric or electrified.
The source goes on to explain that this three-year shift in the demand peak for ICE vehicles was caused by several factors like the ongoing U.S. versus China trade issues, increasingly stringent emissions standards around the world but especially in Europe, as well as Brexit.
And, even though some critics say these electric or electrified vehicles are not as green as the people who make and sell them claim they are, the report quotes another study by Wood Mackenzie (an energy research organization) says otherwise. That study claims a fully electric vehicle does have a lower environmental impact (by as much as 67 percent), although this obviously depends on a series of factors such as how the electricity is produced, how, when, and where the vehicle is charged, as well as the problem of disposing of its worn out batteries when they can no longer hold enough current.
If you still don’t believe the shift has taken place or is about to take place, then perhaps you may not be aware of what’s going on in the industry. Volkswagen, for instance, announced that the next generation of internal combustion engines to be developed will be the last generation for the brand. And, VW is not the only manufacturer with a similar mentality. Volvo, Toyota, and others are on a similar path of accelerated electrification.
All you need to do is look at what vehicles are available from mainstream and premium manufacturers: almost all have at least one or more electric or electrified vehicles on offer, and the competition among such vehicles is actually really strong.
This need to outdo competing brands is what drives innovation and motivates automakers to keep investing and expanding their business in this new direction. So we may see the shift towards electrification accelerate in coming years, even more so than previous years’ estimate for this coming period.
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Source: Financial Times