How the popularity of electric vehicles is growingWill the gas engine become an endangered species?
The short answer is no, or at least not in the next two decades. There are too many gas engined cars on the road, with aftermarket suppliers and local garages supporting internal combustion engine repair.
Still, your next new car could be an EV. You may be asking, now is the time to buy an electric vehicle? Fiat Chrysler sent motorheads into a frenzy in mid-August when it announced it will stop production of its gasoline-powered Dodge Charger and Challenger at the end of 2023, and expects to produce its electric muscle car, the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept. General Motors announced last year that it plans to offer an all-electric fleet by 2035. And Ford, the last of the big three automakers, has pledged that 40% of its global sales will be electric vehicles by 2030.
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Recent regulation outside of California is also spelling the IC engine’s impending doom. The California Air Resources Board has approved a plan to reduce air pollution by requiring 100% of new cars sold by 2035 to be zero-emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrids. The regulation will come into force in stages, so from 2026, for example, only 35% of new vehicles must be considered zero-emissions, and this percentage will increase to 68% in 2030 and 100% in 2035. However, the key language in the CARB regulation is the phrase “including plug-in hybrids,” meaning the IC engine still has a ways to go.
A plug-in hybrid has a battery and an electric motor, but it also has an internal combustion drivetrain. Once you exceed the vehicle’s electric range of, say, 30 miles, the gas engine kicks in. Also in California, and other states likely to adopt their emissions rules, you can buy a new car that has an internal combustion engine in 2036.
Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.com, also cites the limits of precious metals needed for batteries. “There’s just not enough lithium out there, which suggests we’re going to run out. It’s the same talk about oil being a finite resource,” he says. But a battery breakthrough is possible. The World Economic Forum says recycling Electric vehicle batteries could help meet the demand for lithium, as well as improve extraction methods.Scientists are also working on alternatives such as sodium ion batteries.