He says electric cars won’t kill diesel
Japan’s Horiba Ltd. is an electronics company that builds the instruments used to measure automobile emissions. Its equipment was used to catch the cheating software Volkswagen installed on its diesel vehicles to dodge regulations. And according to Atsushi Horiba, Horiba’s chief executive officer, rumors that diesel is almost dead are completely overblown.
Horiba told Bloomberg that his company isn’t worried about a future of emission-less cars because that day will ever come. In his mind, internal combustion engines are here to stay, and diesel will continue to play an important role, especially in emerging markets. Electric vehicles won’t ever be more than a third of the world’s cars. The reason? Infrastructure. Electric vehicle charging may work well in dense urban environments, but it’s unlikely to take off in rural areas with low population density.
“Any academic who says 100 percent of cars will be electric in the future has been reading too many comic books,” Horiba said through an interpreter. “It’s not an issue of technology, it’s just reality.”
In the last couple years, electric vehicles have grown in popularity, but they still make up less than one percent of new cars sold in the ‘States. By 2020, you’ll see a lot more automakers selling EVs, but they’re still not expected to make up a large percentage of overall sales. As countries like France, Norway, and India get closer to banning the sale of new ICE vehicles, though, EVs are the assumed replacement. According to Bloomberg‘s estimates, we’ll see electric vehicles outsell fossil fuel-powered vehicles in another two decades, and in less than 10 years, electric vehicles will be as cheap as their gas-powered counterparts.
But until that happens, Horiba says automakers still need to invest in ICE vehicles to maintain profitability. If not, they may not survive.