By the middle of the next decade, the world as we know it will end. This end is not written in stone, it was not predicted by the Mayans, and it was not foretold by UFO religions.
This end has been sung in the past few years in press releases, statements and interviews. It is the prophesied end of the internal combustion engine. And its killers, the three horsemen of the apocalypse, are finally here, waiting for the fourth to join them.
Until September 2018, the electric car segment has been one of marginal delight, laughter, and discord. Caught between the flamboyant statements showing the impressive sale figures for the Nissan Leaf, the pot-smelling tweets of Elon Musk, and promises made from all over the industry to go all electric, the world watched in amusement and amazement what until now amounted to nothing more than good television.
But no more. The big boys came out to play this month, and their way of playing the game will change the industry. As Turkish used to say, Ze Germans are here. And they are here because they saw something they like.
The three heralds of doom are Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen. All three, be it in their own name or that of some of their subbrands, revealed in the past two weeks the three horsemen that will shape the future: the EQC, the Vision iNext, and the e-tron SUV.
How will they end the ICE world? Through sheer strength, numbers, and services.
Strength. The three are the biggest players in the automotive industry, period. Combined, their power – read sales numbers, financial figures, pretty much everything – dwarfs any competition.
And it is power that gets noticed. Try as it might, Tesla is incapable of single-handedly change centuries of habits and patterns, of changing rules and regulations, of getting enough government support. But when the likes of Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen step into the room, everything changes.
Numbers. Daimler plans to have on the roads ten different all-electric cars by 2022. BMW has 12 of them in the works, all to be released by 2025. Volkswagen shames both of them with plans to launch 80 new models across its brands by the same year.
Read more: Auto Evolution