The electric vehicle revolution in America will eventually have to be driven by SUVs and trucks, even though the majority of EVs sold to this date have been cars.
- But only two of the vehicles scheduled for unveiling at the Detroit auto show are electrified, AP notes, and neither are ready for the road.
- And one of the two, the Infiniti QX Inspiration concept electric SUV, had a technical issue and wasn't able to be shown, the Detroit Free Press notes.
The big picture: SUVs and trucks accounted for 72% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, compared to 49% in December 2012, per AP.
- "Because of the shift, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors are canceling some or all of their sedan lines."
- "At the same time, they are hedging their bets by planning electrics and hybrids to give people fuel-efficient SUV options should gas prices rise from the current national average of around $2.24 per gallon."
- Volkswagen's first electric SUV in North America comes in 2020: The company plans to invest $34 billion on EV development by 2023, with the factory capacity to build up to 15 million EVs globally by 2025.
- There already are some fully electric SUVs in the U.S. market: Tesla Model X, Jaguar i-Pace, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro, Audi e-tron.
- The Kona EV, which starts at $28,950 after tax credits and has a range of 258 miles, was named the Detroit show's SUV of the year.
What’s next: The number of electric SUVs on the market is slated to grow, while some electrified pickups are planned too.
Between the lines: The global EV market is well underway thanks to regulations and subsidies abroad, but those factors are less certain in the U.S. even as domestic sales are rising sharply.
- "[A]utomakers thought their new vehicle fleet had to average about 36 miles per gallon by 2025 under U.S. fuel economy standards," AP notes.
- "But the Trump administration has proposed freezing those standards at 2020 levels, a move that will spark a court challenge and a fight with California, which can set its own gas mileage and greenhouse gas standards."