According to Jürgen Schenk, Mercedes-Benz’s electric car boss, the ‘tipping point’ when electric cars become fully established as a new technology is expected to be reached in February next year.
Quoting the mathematical theory of technology adoption, electric cars are expected to break through the 1% share of the global car market early next year. Currently they make up 0.6% of the market.
“One per cent is the point at which the technology can’t be stopped and it is here to stay,” said Schenk. “And the tipping point in Europe is not far away either.”
Electric cars currently have a 0.4% market share in Europe, with the 1% threshold forecast to arrive in early 2018.
Once 50% market share is reached, the technology will start to take over from the internal combustion engine, signalling the decline of the powerplant that powered the car for its first century of production.
“There are many reasons but one of them is that we recognise that technology is changing and this tipping point is approaching,” he added. “We are eager to go for this plan.”
Mercedes announced a new 10-model line-up of battery-electric cars to be launched by 2025, when they will contribute 15 to 25% of Mercedes’ total passenger car sales.
Depending on how Mercedes’ car sales grow over the next decade from last year’s two million units, conservative estimates suggest that could be equivalent to 1m-plus EVs.