The auto industry had been racing along with the development of autonomous vehicles. Whether the public has any interest in buying or using such vehicles is a complete unknown, but the development continued and the monies were being invested at a huge rate.
But somehow that all seems to have been put on a back-burner. With the real or imagined threat of banning the sale of petroleum-powered vehicles in many parts of the world, the industry seems to have decided overnight to focus on electrification of cars and trucks.
So far, sales of electric vehicles have been very disappointing in the U.S. and around the world. With gasoline prices fairly reasonable in this country even a substantial government subsidy has done little to spur EV sales. If the federal incentive were removed who knows what impact it would have on sales.
Also, some are concerned that generating electricity for these vehicles will cause pollution downstream.
But despite the red flags, car companies all over the world are pursuing electrification, even without a market to support their efforts and investments.
Electric vehicles have a lot of valuable attributes, but at the present time they still have serious limitations. They will be dependent on the continued development of batteries and charging systems.
The electric vehicle may be extremely popular after decades of further development of the power sources. But until that happens, auto companies are rushing headlong into a precarious situation. We can only hope that some executives will caution moderation and convince management to tread slowly.
Electric cars may well be the wave of the future, but if they are not let us hope that no one bets the farm in the process.