Earlier this year, auto industry giant, General Motors, announced plans to end production of all diesel and gasoline powered vehicles by 2035, and to become carbon-neutral by 2040. Competitor, Ford Motors, has said it will increase its investment in electric vehicles to $11 billion by 2022, and Volkswagen will spend $40 billion on EV development and autonomous driving by the end of next year.
The people have spoken, and the industry is listening. Even a decade ago, we never would have imagined the seismic shift now taking place in a sector that has both shaped American life and held steady as a vital part of the US economy, employing 9.9 million people and contributing around 3.5% to national GDP.
Advances in technology are moving at an unprecedented pace. E-mobility has introduced a variety of new challenges, not only in terms of vehicle capabilities and engineering, but also in terms of the user experience and design. OEMs are investing heavily in this, as some consider it to be as important as vehicle technology. I have always been passionate about technology, so I’m excited about where the future will take us. In the fleet industry, we’ve started the conversation about electric vehicles and at LeasePlan, we’re already guiding numerous organizations as they build the fleets of tomorrow. Not everything has to happen at breakneck speed though, and we’re working with companies to help them incorporate EV technologies and add EVs to their fleets.