The market for electric cars is setting new records. It is redrawing the map in the automotive industry, but also affecting lubricant manufacturers and other suppliers to the industry. Technical solutions and attitudes towards mobility are currently being challenged.
During 2017, the sale of rechargeable cars is expected to surpass a million worldwide. This is a record, and one that demonstrates just how quickly the automotive industry is changing. At the same time, we are hearing how more and more cities want to ban diesel vehicles on their streets. In Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens, such a ban could be in place by 2025. The map is being redrawn in an industry that expects to sell 77 million vehicles this year, and electric cars represent a growing share of that number.
“It’s clear that developments are progressing at different speeds in different countries. Norway and the Netherlands have introduced powerful incentives and clear objectives when only electric cars are to be newly registered. These are also the countries with the largest per capita share of electric cars. Other countries, including Germany, do not have high sales figures for electric vehicles. But this does not affect the future prognosis: electric vehicles are on their way, and will arrive earlier in some regions than we may think at present,” says Markus Garb, Head of Global Automotive Product Management at FUCHS.
Garb stresses that the range, or driving distance, of electric cars is a key factor. With current technology, that range is usually between 100 and 300 kilometers. The next generation of electric cars will very soon be able to cover 500 kilometers. This could prompt a breakthrough, partly because private use can largely be covered by 500 kilometers, and partly thanks to a denser network of charging stations.
“I think we’ll see quite a lot of electric vehicles across Europe by 2030, especially in the large, densely populated cities,” says Garb. “In rural areas, consumers are likely to be partly dependent on hybrid solutions.”