Fred Lambert: A "Brutal" Wake-Up Call Is Coming for Automakers in 2025

It's going to be hard for someone to justify buying a gas-powered car at that point.

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By Fred Lambert
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Fred Lambert is a member the Inverse Future 50.
Future 50

There’s going to be a brutal wake-up for many legacy automakers. Brutal.

I talk to a lot of them. They always invite me to press drives, and I love those. They’re fun. We get to drive their electric cars, but what I like the most about the test drive is when I get to sit down with the executives, the marketing team, the press team, and I get to ask, “So what’s your vision of the market?” And it’s, “Oh, we think that EVs are going to be great. We see 25 percent of our sales being EVs by 2025, 2030.”

But they always finish with this: “Internal combustion engines are still going to be very important in the next few decades.”

I’m not on board with that. I have a much more aggressive view of the market in the next few years. And my view is as simple as there’s going to be a tipping point. We’re already starting to see it. I think it’s going to be more obvious in the next two or three years.

Before 2025, there’s going to be a point where there’s not going to be a single car buyer in their right mind who’s going to want to buy a new gasoline car. Not a single one. Because they’re going to look at the market, they’re going to look at what’s out there, and all the different electric car models that are out there now. By that point, by 2025, there’s going to be dozens and dozens of more EV models than what’s available today. And attractive ones!

It’s going to be hard for someone to justify buying a gas-powered car at that point, because they’re going to think about the resale value of it.

I think the resale value of gasoline cars is going to drop massively in the next five years, and predicted value is going to drop even more drastically. Buying a gasoline car right now is a bad choice. Buying a gasoline car within the next five years is going to be just a financial suicide for most people.

See also: Electrek Editor Fred Lambert Is a Driving Force in Electric Transportation

Some EVs are going to come out at a lower price for sure. But I think this is just going to be multiple factors coming at the same time, where more people are going to realize the importance of gas-saving over the ownership of the vehicle. More people are going to look into more sophisticated financial ways to purchase vehicles, like accounting for gas-saving or a subscription program.

We’ve seen cars that can be leased quite low here in the US. Here in California, you can lease a Chevy Bolt EV for $200 a month. There is going to be a bunch of offers like that. They are going to be so attractive that more and more people are going to go with EVs.

On the technology side of things, there are going to be great improvement in the next five years. I think you’re going to have great options, all-electric options, in every segment of the auto market.

When that happens, gasoline cars and the internal combustion engine are dead.

Sourced from a verbal interview.


See also: Electrek Editor Fred Lambert Is a Driving Force in Electric Transportation

Fred Lambert is the editor-in-chief of Electrek, a digital media property that’s dedicated to covering all things electric transportation. Lambert is a member of the Inverse Future 50. Follow him on Twitter @FredericLambert.