Elon Musk thinks it will take 30 to 40 years to replace all petrol/diesel cars with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk says it will take a few decades until the world will switch entirely to battery-electric vehicles. He made this known on Thursday during the electric carmaker’s shareholders meeting, held in the Texas car factory.
The global vehicle fleet currently stands at about 2 billion units, and not even 1% of this is all-electric yet. That’s a gigantic fleet, which will require time to be replaced with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
Assuming that 100% of new vehicles would be electric, at 100 million per year, it would still take 20 years from now to replace 2 billion vehicles. This 20-year period might be considered as the age of a vehicle until it finally goes to a junkyard.
However, currently, the global BEV sales share is not even close to 10% (it might be soon on a monthly basis for BEVs+PHEVs), but annually, it appears to be above 5%.
So we need to add the time to reach 100% first – globally (all the brands and all the markets). Elon Musk says that the full electrification might take 30-40 years.
While Tesla produces only 100% electric cars, the established manufacturers are at a two-digit share at best and those on the forefront set targets of 100% BEV by 2030. Others assume 2040 or so.
We must also take into account that to achieve 100%, the world needs to make BEVs affordable enough for the countries below-average wealth.
On the other hand, electrification might accelerate through the automation of driving. If new autonomous electric cars will be used in favor of owning a car, the global fleet of cars will decrease (the old ICEs will be removed in the first place) and share will increase faster.
Anyway, more than 10 years of lithium-ion-powered revolution is behind us (counting since around 2008, or at least 2010), and a few more decades ahead of us. Meanwhile, the electrification will have to spread to other areas like ships, aircraft, and the energy sector (solar + battery energy storage) on a mass scale.