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Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization, Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
  • 270 items added with 97,996 views
  • Feb 28, 2023

When is it right to stop making ICE vehicles for a manufacturer?
It is a much harder question than most think:

It is a much harder and complex set of questions than most think…

1)     How will customers (by country and segment of the population) take to EVs? Will some segments be resistant to buying an EV?

2)     When will all the world be ready to charge EV’s?

3)     What will be the reaction to people of potential fires in garages and in other situations?

4)     Will people trust EVs, some are conflating self-driving (and the accidents) with being an electric vehicle?

5)     What regulations are in place, going in place to stop sales of EVs and will they be modified?

6)     Can the supply chains produce the parts (including batteries) to build 66-67 Million vehicles per year?

7)     Are their parts of the world that are not ready, and will not be ready for EVs?

8)     Are there segments of the market where an EV will not be able to support the needs (e.g., pickup trucks towing trailers 900+ miles a day with an 8 hour single sleep period) ? [yes it is a niche]

9)     Can EVs be competitive for pricing?

10) As the used EV market evolves, will there be cars in reasonable shape for 3rd and 4th buyers (these tend to be low-income households and social justice communities)?

11) Will alternative batteries evolve to provide a lower cost power pack that is not too much heavier than current power packs per kWh of power?

12) Will studies find health issues with EVs?

13) Will recycling evolve in a fashion that is good for the environment and close to circular?

14) Will electricity prices stay within reason when compared to other choices for fuels?

15) Will jobs evolve so that there are “good union jobs” in manufacturing available for all the workers in the auto industry who will be laid off (roughly 45% of the UAW jobs are power train jobs that will not be retained in the EV transition – even when you count battery and motor production)?

16) How long are the multi-year tax abatement contracts with the auto industry for plants and jobs, and will the manufacturers be forced to fulfill those agreements or pay back the billions of dollars in incentives/tax reduction?

17) Will battery repair/replacement costs start scaring people once it becomes common place (remember the exploding Tesla videos – because of the battery pack replacement costs) []?

18) …

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Mar 2, 2023

It will not be a problem. I have been driving electric vehicles for over 10 years. Like cell phones and PCs they get better each day. 

    We have many great battery recycling companies. Themat reduces the new material needed. We have million mile batteries. Some new batteries are 1/4 the cost made from sodium iron or lithium sulpher. Many great new choices.


Charles Botsford, PE's picture
Charles Botsford, PE on Mar 3, 2023

Doug, I believe this question is phrased incorrectly.

Many auto manufacturers already do not manufacture ICEs. Nearly all auto manufacturers have stopped pouring R&D dollars into improving combustion engines and are doing only sustaining engineering. Instead, they have diverted R&D to electric drivetrains writ large. 

From a manufacturing perspective, making the decision to stop selling a product in the market is done all the time. Auto manufacturers have made the decision that EVs will be the horse to which they hitch their wagon in the future. They will still have to sustain ICE parts for ten years, and after that, well, that's what junk yards are for.

Used ICEs will likely be around forever. However, they may not be on the road if refiners don't find it profitable to produce gasoline around, say, 2040.

Doug Houseman's picture
Thank Doug for the Post!
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