It is not small shifts in technology but big moves in governmental policy that will be the last gasp of the gas driven vehicle. As Reuters.com writes
China’s pointed direction to shift completely to electric vehicles will halt 70 percent of global oil demand in the enxt ten years, meaning that the “oil era” is clearly finished.
There’s a secondary reason too: China will no longer spend $80 billion dollars annually importing oil to fuel vehicles, meaning cleaning air and a better bottom line.
I have already written about the fact that SUVs are considered status symbols in China and will likely continue to be popular. China in 2016 produced 28 million vehicles, a big chunk of the 70 million vehicles produced globally.
On January 1st of 2018 China stopped the manufacturing of over 500 different car models including domestic and foreign automobile ventures. The stoppages of ICE (internal combustion engines) vehicle manufacturing included factories operated by Volkswagen and Benz.
As the New York Times said at the time “the measure pointed to a mounting willingness by China to test forceful antipollution policies and assume a leading role in the fight against climate change. The country, which for years prioritized economic growth over environmental protection and now produces more than a quarter of the world’s human-caused greenhouse gases, has emerged as an unlikely bastion of climate action after President Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement.”
Estimates suggest that electric vehicles will represent 40 percent of total vehicular sales in ten years in China. The cost of oil import for a typical ICE powered vehicle is ten times that of solar equipment. China has not set a date for banning the sale of ICE vehicles, but it is suggested that electric vehicles will be half of car sales by 2035, with the other half being for hybrid.
Kingsmill Bond with Carbon Tracker stated :This is a simple choice between growing dependency on what has been expensive oil produced by a foreign cartel, or domestic electricity produced by renewable sources whose prices fall over time.”
Here is a PBS YouTube video on the work of NEO, which is producing electric vehicles in China showing the advancement and design of this next generation of Chinese produced cars.