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Study: EVs, Autonomous Vehicles Won’t Gain Traction for Years

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Feb. 26, 2018—According to a recent Center for Automotive Research (CAR) study, electrification and autonomy aren't likely to gain widespread adoption for decades.

Despite the fact many auto manufacturers are investing billions into EVs and self-driving vehicles, the CAR predicts those investments could slow in coming years, and that such vehicles will represent only a fraction of sales a decade from now, as reported by Crain’s Detroit Business.

In a recent presentation to media, the Michigan-based research group said Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving vehicles will account for less than 4 percent of new-vehicle sales by 2030, although that number will increase steadily to about 55 percent by 2040.

Additionally, CAR said it feels that alternative powertrains, including battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles, will comprise 8 percent of the market by 2030.

Government emissions and fuel economy mandates are helping drive the gradual trend toward future technologies, and CAR said self-driving tech and electrification will first impact fleets of shared vehicle services in urban areas. But, a slowing new-vehicle sales market, coupled with a possible lack of public acceptance, could significantly hinder their broader implementation in personal cars and trucks.

CAR cited a 2016 study that found 40 percent of respondents ages 25-34 are comfortable with full autonomy, while 23.4 percent of those ages 45-54 are comfortable with that new technology, and just 18.9 percent of those ages 55-64 are accepting of it.

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