Traverse City, Mich. — Automakers are overly optimistic about the market potential of electric vehicles and when fully self-driving cars will arrive, charged Don Walker, CEO of Magna International Inc., the giant Canadian supplier.
Walker, speaking Wednesday at the seminars, took issue with some industry estimates, such as the prediction that EVs could grow to as much as 25 percent of the market by 2025. He warned that the number will be dramatically lower.
EVs, he predicted, will account for just 3 to 6 percent of the global new-vehicle market by 2025. It could come closer to 6 percent if the Chinese EV market grows quickly. The Chinese government has required automakers to build more EVs to combat air pollution.
“I am going to get criticized by a lot of people who say I don't know what is going on,” Walker said.
“Quite frankly, auto companies can't tell publicly what they really believe,” he said. “They know what's going to happen, but they have to say what is going to be popular to be perceived as a progressive company.
“We've got a lot of feedback from many of the car companies, and they actually believe this to be right.”