The road map is a bit ambiguous. But then again, so is the road ahead.
Auto makers and suppliers are doing their best to drive the industry toward electrification, but that's not always easy to do, especially as goals change and consumers hesitate to embrace technology.
So the auto industry pushes forward with technological innovations, accelerating toward a future where electric vehicles are as much a part of the landscape as their internal combustion engine counterparts.
And, as with any journey, some are getting restless to reach the destination.
"Are we there yet? The answer is no," said Joerg Trampler, who is responsible for all of ZF Friedrichshafen A.G.'s powertrain engineering operations in North America. "The road to electrification is an endurance race."
Trampler joined Dustin Krause, Volkswagen Group of America Inc.'s North American director of e-mobility, for a discussion about the future of electric vehicle technology and what it will take to go from niche product to mass market. The discussion was part of a webinar series hosted Aug. 4-5 by the Center for Automotive Research as part of the annual Management Briefing Seminars. The event, typically hosted in Traverse City, Mich., transitioned to an online format because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every major auto maker is focused on and investing in EV technology, and Volkswagen is no exception. Following its Audi and Porsche brands, which already introduced EV models of their own, VW is gearing up to roll out its ID.4, a compact crossover that is due to hit dealer showrooms later this year.
Volkswagen, Krause said, had covered the "luxury market and the sports car market. Now, we are going to hit the mass market, taking inspiration from what our customers wanted and what others are doing."