Automakers Are Slowing Their Plans to Go Fully Electric

Both Cadillac and Bentley have made similar announcements recently

Cadillac LYRIQ
It may be a little longer before Cadillac is a fully electric automaker.

There was a time not too long ago when numerous automakers around the world made a bold declaration: their lineup of cars would be fully electric by a given year, 2030, in several cases. There are a number of reasons for this, including the European Union and California passing legislation mandating that new cars sold in a given jurisdiction must be zero-emissions or fully electric. Since then, some of those same automakers have announced a slowing of that changeover — or, to embrace an automotive metaphor, they’ve shifted into a lower gear. In a recent article for Road & Track, Lucas Bell cites both Cadillac and Bentley as examples of automakers who’ve announced a more gradual approach.

As CNBC reported in March, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told members of the press that the company would continue to produce hybrids after 2030, contrary to their earlier statements. “Whether we deliver all the BEVs by 2031 or not, we still may have some hybrids that we wouldn’t have had post-2030. But not for 10 years, maybe just for a couple of years as we run them out,” he said. (Shortly after making those comments, Hallmark announced his departure from Bentley for Aston Martin.)

The Detroit Free Press reported that Global Cadillac Vice President John Roth made the announcement of Cadillac’s changing priorities earlier this week. “We want to make sure that we have that luxury of choice in the marketplace and both will have an opportunity to meet the customer needs as we look forward,” Roth said. He also stated that both internal combustion vehicles and electric vehicles “will coexist for a number of years.”

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It isn’t necessarily surprising to see these automakers hedging their bets and opting for a time of coexisting platforms as opposed to a hard break with internal combustion vehicles. The pace at which EVs are selling in the United States is likely one factor here, as are questions of infrastructure. How Tesla’s recent decisions regarding its Supercharger division may further affect the EV market are likely to play out in the months to come. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some other automakers joining Cadillac and Bentley in tempering ambitious EV plans.

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